Friday, November 28, 2014

Birthday Girl!

She's 25! I'm writing this in the wee hours of the morning. Twenty five years ago we arrived to the hospital about this time. As I was being wheeled to the birthing room I was earnestly explaining that I wanted them to go ahead and get the epidural ready. I explained that it was in our birthing plan that I get an epidural and I really wanted it now. 

As you may have guessed, the epidural was not forthcoming. Those were the last few hours that "it was all about me". While my husband didn't actually say the words "high maintenance" it can be inferred. 

And then...at 6:20 in the morning life became all about our sweet girl. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Getting Settled

We are almost completely settled in our new place. I knew when I saw our new kitchen that I wanted a pop of apple green. I'm loving this tea kettle. 

The biggest change (although, I don't think that is the right word) we made is our kitchen table. The white kitchen table we had in our red kitchen was our true taste when we lived in a high-rise in Bellevue. We had a tiny apartment with a "view" of the space needle from our kitchen window. The table was a perfect fit. 

We also bought a craft table with two book shelves. We used this as our kitchen island in the "Centerway" house. It was more streamlined than the island counter that was originally in the kitchen. It also complimented the kitchen table. 

Anyway, we let the buyers of Centerway keep the two kitchen tables. They were such a good fit there and we don't have room for both tables in our new place. 
Kitchen Table

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fun and Funky Deli Downtown

A few weeks ago I met a friend for lunch. We met at a local deli in a renovated tobacco warehouse. Tobacco warehouses are what makes up the historic downtown area known as the Brightleaf District.  Get it? Brightleaf? It's the name of the tobacco leaf that NC and VA developed before the Civil War. The new way the leaf was was cured produced a bright/yellow milder tobacco leaf. 

I didn't mean to turn this into a history "thing".  But I do love how the city is reviving and embracing the older buildings and giving them new life. 

The deli is one of my favorite places to spend a few hours. It is such a cool place with hardwood floors and nooks and crannies. There are so many fun things to look at. I love all the retro things they offer.  It a fun eclectic place to have a sandwich or a dessert and something to drink. And then walk around and imagine all of their fun things coming home with you. cMy friend's office is in

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's This I Hear About Soda?

Do you remember Emily Litella, Gilda Radner's character on SNL? Oh my gosh I loved her.  The show I remember most fondly started out as "What's this I hear about too much violins on television?" Emily prattles on and on about how violins are wonderful and there could never be too much violins.

I mention Emily because I can't help but think of her when I reflect on the news of last night's mid-term elections. I'm pretty sure I haven't shared my personal political views here but today...I can't help but speak out.

So...what's this I hear about a tax on soda? This tax passed yesterday in Berkeley, CA! I didn't realize that this was a new movement trying to take hold across the nation. I've decided that I'm a little alarmed.

I used to be a soda junkie...albeit a diet soda junkie. The caveat is that "diet" soda is not getting the extra tax.

I surprised myself (and my husband) when I gave soda up in 2011. This was not easy. I drank soda all day long. My past (and current) employer provide soda and juice as well as coffee. I loved that perk. Now I appreciate the fact that my employer provides us with a water cooler. 

So why am I alarmed about this new tax and sincerely hope that the trend stops in Berkeley? I read a virtual bulletin board today and a large number of commenters were very happy with the new tax. Their arguments are that there is scientific "proof" that soda leads to diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and other health problems.

1st of all:  I strongly doubt that there is a scientific finding that claims to prove cause and effect between soda and illness. Instead I believe that the most they can do is make a strong correlation between soda consumption and the sugar related illnesses. I find it alarming that legislation is being introduced that essentially punishes a person who chooses to buy a soda instead of a bottled water. 

I'm sure some will argue that the Berkeley voters chose to tax themselves. I say baloney. Only the voters that chose to go to the polls during a mid-term election made this choice. 

There's a movement in this country to villainize "junk food". People feel that they "know better" than individuals making personal eating decisions. There's the debate about if it's really cheaper to buy fast food or junk food. It's become fairly well documented that food costs really are skewed with "junk food" on the cheaper end. (This LA Times article is just one example.) 

It is also well documented that there are indeed  "food deserts" -- predominately low income neighborhoods that do not have accessible healthy food sources. Trendy, high end grocery stores are typically geographically inaccessible as well as economically inaccessible.   The healthy farmer's market type foods are simply not available to entire segments of the population.

So why do I resent the implications that come from additional tax to "discretionary" food products? It's a slippery slope that sets a precedent that "some" have the power to influence the choices of "others". In fact, the result (maybe the intent) is to punish individuals for making what "some" consider to be poor choices. 

I'm not currently a soda drinker....so I am not directly affected. (Plus I don't live in Berkeley.) Here's the thing...it just feels very wrong. Maybe the new tax will re-direct consumers away from regular soda. If it does, it's likely that it will be replaced with diet soda. Right? And are we so sure that people are better off with diet soda? Not that long ago (in my lifetime) diet soda was sweetened with saccharin which was linked to cancer.

What I'm saying is... I shouldn't have the power to decide for someone else what they should or shouldn't drink. And I don't think others should have this power over me. Personal choices should not be subject to a popular vote.

This? This is what has moved me to talk politics on my blog. Unlike Emily.... I'm not going to reverse my position with a "never mind".