Overweight and Poorer


Today I planned to post a lovely poem.  However, I was so engrossed by an article on the Internet that I decided to discuss that topic instead.  Why are so many people in this country overweight?  Why do people complain about being poorer?

The article in question, which I could not download and post here, claims that the biggest item on which people in the United States overspend is eating out at restaurants.  It is also a major cause of obesity.  On average when a person eats in a restaurant they eat 200 calories more than if he or she ate at home.  If that person eats out three times a week, that adds up to more than 30,000 extra calories a year.  Even if he or she eats fast food, which probably adds even more calories, the extra expenditure at even a low 8.00 per meal, would  add to nearly 1300 dollars per year.  If it is a family, multiply that by the  number of people in the family.  For 8 dollars, they could go to the grocery here in Texas and buy a delicious already roasted chicken that would feed at least four.

Personally, I find few restaurants that can actually create a meal better than one I can cook myself.  Others say who wants to cook for oneself.  I live alone and I cook for myself all but a couple of times a month.  Being a bit of a health nut and not much of a meat eater (I eat quite a lot of fish, usually cod or salmon), that 8 dollars would turn into much bigger amounts.  Plus I do not want to waste the time eating out.  I can create a much healthier meal, cheaper, quicker at home.  Restaurant food tends to be much saltier with fewer herbs and spices than I prefer as well.

I am curious to find out why others eat out all the time.  It mystifies me.

 

PS.  Curious as to what sorts of foods I create, what spices I use?  I have posted lots of recipes here on my blog.  Take a look.

 

IMG_1430

 

 

SAM_1568

An Open Letter to President Obama about the Dakota Access Pipeline by Elizabeth Cunningham


Since the election results, I have become increasingly concerned not only about the plight of Standing Rock, but also about water safety throughout the USA. President-elect Trump has major interests in the company building the pipeline. North Dakota seems determined to go to extreme policing to make sure their fracking results get into this pipeline. This state has a long history of mistreatment of its native people.

Elizabeth_Author Photo 2I wrote this letter to President Obama on November 18, the morning after I returned from a few days at Standing Rock. I am not an activist by temperament. I went to Standing Rock to support a friend who felt strongly called to go, as well as, to support the cause. I did not participate in direct action, because I did not fully grasp till I was there the preparations I would need to make in terms of clearing my calendar for jail time and a return to North Dakota for a trial. Gratitude and respect for those who are taking this risk and dedicating their lives to this cause.

One thing this letter below does not address is how to donate to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Given the overwhelming donations of food and clothing that are still pouring in, financial donation is more practical now. Here’s a…

View original post 752 more words

Cougar Stories


As a person more than a bit obsessed with pumas, I just had to share this with others.

Wolf Is My Soul

I’ve become fascinated by cougars. Maybe because they are elusive, secretive, more akin to a ghost than an animal of flesh and blood. Which of course, begs the question: How do you get people to care about and protect an animal that they never see, nor probably will never see in their lifetime?

mom-and-kittenMom and six month old kitten

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park can be almost guaranteed, if they are persistent and patient, to view wolves and bears, elk, bison, and bighorn sheep. But only the rare individual will have the opportunity to see a cougar in the Park. They’ve been spotted at Calcite Springs, hanging on the basalt walls and occasionally through a scope from the Hellroaring overlook. Usually the Park sightings are called in by wolf watchers. Once radioed around, tourists hear about it through the airwaves, then flock to those locations. Sometimes the cat might be hanging…

View original post 678 more words

Gratitude


Thanksgiving brings so many thoughts, including thoughts about the divisive political discourse in the country now.  However, it seems more productive and in keeping with the day to focus on gratitude.  As I write this I think of both personal and broader things for which I am grateful, one of which is that I live in a country where divisive political discourse can actually and legally occur.  Now to the more personal (even though I think the personal is political, I will not focus on that)–here is my starter list:

-my family–daugher, son, and grandson; daughter and grandson will join me shortly to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

-my mother’s pumpkin pie recipe which my grandson will help me prepare when he arrives; he says it is the only pumpkin pie he really likes.

-my job which I truly love–teaching public high school; my students frequently make my day.

-where I live in beauty truly on the Rim of Wonder.

IMG_2376

IMG_2373

IMG_2323

IMG_2165

IMG_1645

IMG_1584

IMG_1807

IMG_1596

IMG_1580

IMG_1589

IMG_1419

-my health

-my friends

-my ability to travel to all sorts of fascinating places

IMG_0592

IMG_0577

IMG_0169

IMG_0198

IMG_2069

 

IMG_2040

IMG_1966

-a life I love

 

Currently: Eagerly Anticipating #Akefest16 in Abeokuta


For those who want to explore movies, musicians, and writers many of you may never have heard of, here is a lengthy list with photos.

Kinna Reads

It’s 1pm and I’m planning my trip to Abeokuta – I leave on Wednesday.  Yessss, the 2016 edition of Ake Arts and Book Festival is loading…. I’m so excited, I have butterflies, the pit of my stomach is always warm because

That is me up there, scheduled to host a book chat with NoViolet Bulawayo and Jennifer Makumbi!  Ms. Makumbi is the author of Kintu, which qualifies as the most recent addition to my all time list of favorite African fiction ever. I’m so stoked.😆😆😆.

I will also moderate this:

Laila Lalami, fellow book lovers!

Finally, I’m also on this:

It’s all very glorious!

#AkeFest16 comprises 12 panel discussions, including:

(I get to meet Sarah Ladipo Manyika (InDependence) finally…

9 Book chats such as:

Also on the schedule are film screenings, a play and a concert:

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o will headline. In boxing parlance, he is the…

View original post 168 more words

Learn Something New


After grading 45 essays this weekend, it remains a wonder that I learned anything new.  I did, sadly, once again find a few plagiarizers, but I also read some good essays on which students had obviously spent time.

As a person extremely interested environmental issues, I belong to several environmental organizations and read a lot about related issues.  Here are some of the things I have learned either recently or in the last few days:

-June and July were the warmest June and July on record and the 14th and 15th straight months in which such records have been set.

-Thawing permafrost near the Alaskan Highway has caused it to sink in places.

-In Siberia the same thawing has caused the release of deadly bacteria–anthrax to be specific.

-This past summer, toxic algae affected waterways in states as diverse as California and Utah.  It does not smell all that wonderful either.

-In Alaska so many wolves have been killed that naturalists can no longer research them in their natural state.

-The Republican Platform claims coal is a clean source of energy.

-Hot summers have caused Douglas fir trees to quit growing.

 

 

 

Catrinas


In 1913, Mexican print maker Jose Guadalupe Posada sketched the original Catrina, an elegant, upper class skeleton woman in a ball gown to symbolize the emptiness of the upper classes.  Subsequently, Catrinas have come to be a part of El Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead.  None of this has anything to do with Halloween, absolutely nothing.  People sometimes associate the two erroneously, but only because of the dates when they occur.

This evening I was privileged to be one of the judges of a Catrina contest.  Before the contest occurred, the evening began with some traditional Mexican dancing.

img_2395

 

img_2400

There were also several traditional El Dia de los Muertos  family displays to honor deceased ancestors.  The following was the most elaborate.

img_2399

Finally, the Cartrinas were ready.  Ten young women competed.  The following photo shows the top three, judged for originality, costume, and makeup.

img_2406

The young woman on the left never smiled.  The top makeup impressed everyone.  The skeletal bones you see on the young woman on the right were all painted on and a backbone, etc. was painted on her back as well.  The young lady in the center won the costume portion–a bride in a black veil, elegant, empty.

 

 

The Mysterious Connection Between Wolves and Women (Video)


Wolf Is My Soul

October 03, 2016   Source

“Millennia of humans have gathered around fires to hear words that transferred hard-won wisdom and allowed dreams of unlimited possibilities. In a modern world that limits wisdom to ‘facts,’ and women’s access even to those, Dr. Estes has restored the fire-for us all.” Gloria Steinem, author of Revolution from Within.
All strong women who believe the Spirit heals.. who believe in spirituality, myth and medicine of the soul, should read this amazing work. It is a truly profound spiritual testimony to the Wild Wolf Woman within!
….Selkywolf…

A healthy woman is much like a wolf – strong life force, life-giving, territorily aware, intuitive and loyal. Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful.

With the wild nature as ally and teacher, we see not through two eyes only, but through the many eyes of intuition. With intuition we…

View original post 313 more words

Court Mandates New Recovery Plan for Mexican Gray Wolves


For those following the fate of one of sub-species with few left in the wild.

Wolf Is My Soul

October 18,2016 By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Federal wildlife officials are now under a court order to update a decades-old recovery plan for the endangered Mexican gray wolf, a predator that has struggled to regain a foothold in the American Southwest despite millions of dollars of investment in reintroduction efforts.

An Arizona judge on Tuesday dismissed the concerns of ranchers and others and signed off on a settlement between environmental groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Under the agreement, the federal agency must update the recovery plan by November 2017 while providing the court and other parties in the case with regular updates on the planning process.

Environmentalists have long argued that the agency had a legal obligation to adopt a recovery plan that spells out specific goals and milestones for returning the wolves to their historic range.

There are currently about 100 wolves in the wild…

View original post 385 more words

The Community Bardic Exercise Revisited: Body, Land, Tribe Poetry by Kate Brunner


An inspiration to write a poem every day for seven days, release negativity, be yourself no matter what others say or do.

katebrunnerqueenanneslaceTwo years ago, I hosted a Devotional Poetry themed Community Bardic Exercise which turned out to be heaps of beautiful, inspiration-filled fun. Inspired by Elizabeth’s latest post, I’d like to revisit this venture today. Consider this an invitation, an opportunity, or a challenge, but however you consider it, please let yourself play!

Various British Isles-based Celtic traditions refer to poetic inspiration with different terminology. Welsh tradition speaks of Awen– the fiery spark of inspiration & revelation. Irish tradition tells of the illumination of Imbas– a very similar concept. It is this spark I invite you to dance with this week. Set aside the acute issues of the day. Breathe in the cooling autumn air & use this spark of Awen to kindle within you the flame of holy creativity.

Our exercise will be simple in nature, yet challenging in practice. I invite you to write one poem per day…

View original post 693 more words