I’m not someone who goes on diets. Low-carb, no-carb, Mediterranean, Atkins, Whole 30, keto, and on and on. My personal dietary guideline is to eat a wide variety of mostly unprocessed foods. As Michael Pollan wrote, “Eat food. Not too much.” Typically, if I need to lose a few pounds I just eat less of it. However. Age and hormones seem to be conspiring to make even that simple solution not so simple anymore. At least that’s what I tell myself. Which brings me to the meat (ha!) of this post. My challenge MIGHT have less to do with my age and MORE to do with my growing willingness to “cut myself some slack.” So I’ve been taking stock of the lies I tell myself that trip me up in the quest to drop those insidious pounds that sneak on when I’m not looking. It’s been a tough day. I deserve . . . chocolate, cake, a glass of wine, crusty bread with butter . . . fill in the blank. (On the flip side–it’s been a great day! I deserve . . .) This ONE cookie/piece of candy/handful of chips won’t really matter. It’s a special occasion. I’ll just eat less at the next meal. I did really well yesterday, I can relax today. I went for a really long hike–that’ll make up for an extra . . . It’s shameful to waste this food. I haven’t really eaten […]
My home state’s motto is: Mountaineers are always free. There’s a serious thread of independence running through the mountains I call home. And what better day to celebrate that than the Fourth of July? And what better way than by shooting off some anvils? Wait. What? Yes. Anvils. I wrote about anvil shooting last July, but couldn’t resist mentioning it […]
When I saw that Amanda Barratt was tackling a novel about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ill-fated love, I knew I wanted to read it! While I was familiar with the pastor’s part in the conspiracy to kill Adolph Hitler and his ultimate martyrdom, I had no idea he’d been engaged. Let me begin by saying this was a HARD book. In the […]
Last Thursday was WV Day. To celebrate, I sent out a quiz to help readers determine if they could pass as a Mountaineer. The results were interesting! The first question was whether or not you’ve ever used an outhouse. I was amazed that almost EVERYONE who took the survey had done so–92%. Only one person vowed that they never would. Guess it wasn’t as big a deal as I thought when we got married at a church with no indoor plumbing. Next, I asked readers to identify the state flower of WV. This was a little bit of a trick. The choices included Magnolia–wrong! Mountain Laurel–wrong, but doesn’t it sound right?? and Rhododendron–the correct answer with 35% of folks getting it right. Sixty percent chose Mountain Laurel. This was the second most missed question. Third, I asked if WV is The Mountain State, Hillbilly Nation, or Coal Country. Two thirds know it’s The Mountain State with just one smart aleck choosing Hillbilly Nation. Okay. The what does “watch out for deer” really mean question was also tricky. If you’d read my post about this, you’d know it’s code for “I love you” (just 14% chose that answer). But I gave out a point for “be careful” as well which tied for the obvious answer of “watch out for deer” at 43%. Question 5 also surprised me with 72% of quiz takers enjoying wild game. Only 10% would turn up their […]
I was joking around with a librarian friend about how working a day job really cuts into my readerly and writerly activities. A regular job means I have less time to read, write, go to conferences, and just hang out with friends talking about books! She offered to write me a note to give to my boss if I need […]
Today is WV Day. But you probably already knew that. My home state is turning 156 and in honor of the day I thought I’d share some unusual facts about the Mountain State. The largest diamond ever found in North America was discovered in Peterson, WV, by the Jones family. They kept it in a cigar box for 14 years before realizing that it wasn’t just a piece of quartz, but rather a 34.5 carat diamond. About 75% of the state is covered by forests with nine state forests and 37 state parks. The New River in WV is actually among the world’s oldest rivers and runs from south to north instead of north to south like most other rivers in the U.S. The first woman to dunk a basketball in a college game was WV University center Georgeann Wells in 1985. In the northern panhandle the city of Weirton touches Ohio on one side and Pennsylvania in the other. In 1972 spelunker Bob Addis set the world record for stalagmite sitting in New World Caverns in WV. He stayed up there for 16 days. When it seceded from the Union, plans were to call the state Kanawha, but they went with a shortened version of Western Virginia since that’s what everyone was already calling it. And cursed natives to hear, “So you’re from Western Virginia–right?” from then on. Happy birthday, Mountain state!
Isn’t it funny how something utterly familiar will suddenly strike you as . . . odd? While having dinner with friends I was telling a story about a neighbor who used to give us fresh eggs and we realized that none of us knew why eggs come in dozens. Not to mention donuts. Not an urgent question, but one I […]