Thursday, August 16, 2012


Is it ever possible to be content for long periods of time?  Will we ever have exactly what we want?

I read blogs where woman are upset that their men are away, a perfectly understandable thing.  But what about the woman who don't have men and are looking?  Do the women with husbands have it better and shouldn't be discontent?  Maybe, maybe not, everybody is subject to the emotions whether they are of loneliness because there is no man or loneliness because they miss their man.  Women without men have more freedom in their personal lives since they don't have to check with anybody about what they do with their lives, but having someone to do things with is a huge thing.  Unattached women are not subject to the little annoyances that come with living with someone, but the trade off is loneliness.

I read blogs where women are worried because they don't have a job or their husband doesn't have a job.  If one of them has a job should they be less discontent than a couple who have both been out of work?  If they have a home, they are better off than people who live in homeless shelters or are on the street?  But maybe the emotions of being without a job and waiting to be homeless are worse than when it has already happened. 

I heard a man speaking the other day about losing his two year old daughter.  Would he have been better off had she never been born, even though having her die was such an emotionally devastating thing?  He said he had done nothing to deserve her coming into his life and he was glad to have had her for two short years, but when she died he said he had done nothing to deserve having her taken from him.  I guess he embraced, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord." Is his worse off or better off than someone who has never had children, but has also never experienced that kind of love? 

I heard another man who was talking about getting a horrible disease and not being able to find a doctor to help him.  It took him many months to find someone who could help him.  He started an internet service to help other people who found themselves in the same situation.  He said he hadn't given God credit for his good health, so why should he blame him for the bad health. 

I have come to the conclusion that much of life is a mixed blessing.  You probably won't ever be totally content with how things are. Perhaps we, as humans, are meant to have some peaks and valleys.  I guess the idea of not knowing when you are on the mountain until you have experienced the valley is true. 

I am trying more and more to embrace a grateful spirit and see the things that I do have and the things I should be grateful for instead of focusing on the things I don't have. I am sure I'll never to totally content with the way my life is going, but I should be happy about the good things and not discount them because I don't have everything I want. 

I remember a Northern Exposure episode in which Marilyn Whirlwind tells a story:

“My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion. Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse. “Maybe,” he said. One day the stallion ran off. The people said the warrior was unlucky. “Maybe,” he said. Next day, the stallion returned, leading a string of fine ponies. The people said it was very lucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. Later, the warrior’s son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg. The people said it was unlucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed. But, because of his broken leg, the warrior’s son was left behind, and so was spared.”

We can't see the future and the burden of today may actually be the blessing of tomorrow and we just don't know it yet.  I'm trying to remember that.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


So, 60 minutes tonight was pretty interesting.  They did a piece on sugar. The piece basically said that sugar in large quantities was a toxin.  It can lead to heart disease and cancer.  Obesity and hypertension were also mentioned. 

Sugar is in a lot of processed foods and being the scientist that I am, I have to wonder if it is sugar or the fact that people eat a lot of processed foods which contain sugar is a better explanation.  There are so many foods that have sugar in them:  bread, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, yogurts, salad dressing.  I prefer the low sugar products and find I gravitate towards the natural, but more expensive peanut butters and such precisely because they don't have sugar in them.  Don't get me started on why Skippy peanut butter isn't on my ten favorite foods....suffice to say, it is too sweet!  Most people eat 1/3 of a pound of sugar a day!

Now I have often said that I could live without chocolate for the rest of my life.  It is a necessity of many people but I am more of a salty taste liker than a sweet taste liker.  I'll eat a potato chip over a cookie any day.  I know unhealthy too! I don't drink a lot of soda either, but as I drank my lemonade I wondered if I could go sugar free.  Another interesting fact is that there is nothing on the plant that has naturally occurring fructose in it that is poisonous, so when you eat something in nature that is sweet, you know you aren't eating something poisonous, so we are born liking sweets.

I have a bit of a problem with high fructose corn syrup just because of the impact corn has on our lives. If you haven't read, The Omnivore Dilemma, you should.  It will really open your eyes to the impact corn has on our lives.

There is a tiny place in Texas, called Dublin.  They have Dr. Pepper there that is made with sugar.  Droves of people go to that town specifically to get the Dr. Pepper made with sugar.  It is better, you can taste the difference, so over time I have gradually chosen to move towards sugar soda and away from high fructose corn syrup soda. 

Here's the really ugly part they discussed on the show.  They did studies that found that when they put people on diets that provided 25% of their calories from sugary drinks, that their LDL cholesterol went very high in only two weeks!  So, drinking a sugary drink may be as bad for you as eating a cheeseburger.  They also have found the spikes in insulin, in response to sugar intake may have a link to cancer.  People also appear to build up a tolerance for sugar, so the more you eat, the more you have to eat to get the same increases in dopamine levels.  It is like any addictive substance, you need to consume more to get the good feelings.

Thought provoking and interesting.  I probably won't be drinking a soda again anytime soon.  Who knows how good the science is, but as with all things, moderation can't be a bad thing.

If you are interested here is the link for the 60 minutes story:

And here is the youtube video from the doctor they interviewed:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


So, it is an odd thing.  I have always been the strong one, mostly because I have had to be.  I came home to an empty house starting when I was ten.  By the time anybody came home, they were too tired to deal with me, so I dealt with things myself.  For example, I can remember falling out of bed and hitting my head on the tile floor, but I was afraid to go and wake my mother to tell her.  I tried really hard to be self-sufficient and not need anybody, until lately. 

I am finding that I sort of like letting the vulnerable, feminine creature out of hiding.  Some of the guys I am dating seem to like it too...strange, because in my professional like I can't let that side of me out.  I grew up with brothers, so I always acted more like them than like a girl.  I am starting to wear sparklies and perfume and dresses, although with my job, jeans are the uniform of the day.  I am starting to feel very feminine.  I think I like it and that vulnerability shows itself at the oddest of times.   

So, tell me if this is weird or embarrassing or both:  I went to the dentist today, the dental hygienist is a guy, sort of a surfer guy, blonde hair, muscular and sort of cute (too young for me, but cute and yes when they asked who I wanted I requested him...giggle), so you know you're vulnerable, the hygienist has sharp things in your mouth and you have to trust that  you are going to leave the chair relatively unscathed.  So he is warning me when things may hurt and he is mopping up periodically, keeping me dry from the high powered water pick and I just relaxed and basked in the careful attention.  He made me trust him and I liked that kind of careful attention...I know...weird, huh?