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.
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.
-my ability to travel to all sorts of fascinating places
-a life I love
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.
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.
There were also several traditional El Dia de los Muertos family displays to honor deceased ancestors. The following was the most elaborate.
Finally, the Cartrinas were ready. Ten young women competed. The following photo shows the top three, judged for originality, costume, and makeup.
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.