Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Our New Guest


skunk
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
A couple of weeks ago, I looked out our kitchen window and saw a little critter crawling under Jack's little playhouse in our backyard. My first reaction was, "What is that cute animal?" Then , realizing what it was, the fear of god came over me. Our dog Zoe, out in the yard doing her business, saw the nuclear stink bomb at the very same time. She started barking and running toward the playhouse and toward our potential odiferous doom. Your BloomingtonGirl quickly sprang into action and grabbed a little tupperware bowl, filled it with some kibbles and ran out the door. Sprinting across the lawn in my pajamas, shaking the cup and screaming "ZOE! COME!", I was a sight to behold. The lapse in personal vanity was worth it, though. Zoe was eventually lured into the house and danger was averted.

It soon became clear that the skunks - yes, plural...a mother and some babies - had set up house under our little playhouse. Reluctant to remove the critters myself for fear of getting sprayed, I called a professional. I called several, in fact, and left messages.

I got one return phone call from a guy who sounded right out of "Deliverance." Since nobody else had responded and we were getting kind of anxious about the situation, I made an appointment with the deliverance guy...

Unfortunately, it is getting late, so I must leave my loyal readers hanging. More over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Vacation Woes

This morning, it was smokey enough at our resort that we left it to go south and visit this safari place. It has cleared now and we will remain put unless the wind shifts. I will never, I repeat, NEVER plan a vacation again. When I told Chris we were coming here, he looked it up on the internet. The first thing he said was "they have an extreme forest fire danger in that area right now." I rolled my eyes and laughed at his worrisome, pessimistic nature.


Unfortunately, the joke was on me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Smoky in Sedona

Greetings from Sedona, AZ, loyal readers, where I have fortunately avoided smoke inhalation. A sane person might wonder what the hell we are doing vacationing a few miles from an out of control wild-fire. I suppose that we like adventure. More honestly, I didn't bother to check the weather or threats of fires before I booked the vacation. Chris isn't going to let me plan our next trip, believe-you-me.

Actually, the trip has been pretty good for the most part. We are staying at the Enchantment, a fancy-schmancy resort in Boynton Canyon about eight miles from Sedona. I would love to be able to say that it offends my humble and simple sensibilities to have to stay at such a posh place. But, it would, as we all know, be a big fat lie. First of all, my sensibilities are neither humble nor simple and second of all, I am not at all offended to surrender to the embrace of luxury. There, I said it. If it makes me shallow, so be it. I love being niced to death and having all my whims and needs met. I love the perfectly comfortable beds and pillows and nice bathrobes in the room. I love the spa's healthy food restaurant and their tony workout studio. (I do however draw the line at the spa's treatments. Their price list is so over the top that I can't justify even one small treatment. There is some kind of scalp oil massage for over two hundred dollars. For that, I can buy a bottle of baby oil and rub my own head.) There is a day camp which Jack LOVES and so Chris and I get to hike and relax and work out during the day by ourselves. And, it isn't at all stuffy. It is paradise if you ask me. Having said all this, it does get pretty hot mid-day and there has been a smoky smell in the air from time to time. But, you can't have everything in life.

In other news, I don't know if the local paper published my piece on obesity because I haven't been in town. I haven't gotten any hate phone messages, so I would suppose that they didn't publish it. I didn't think it was offensive or mean but I have had some comments from my loyal readers that have caused me to think again. More on that train of thought when I return to the heartland.

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for tuning in.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

BloomingtonGirl Takes a Stand



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper this evening. There was an article on the looming health care crisis for uninsured Hoosiers. The writer chose as his "poster patient" a four-hundred pound man who had lost his medicaid and thus his $215 a month in meds to keep his heart going. He is 41 and has been unable to work for two years so needs the public assistance. (Geez, could it be he can't work because he is so FAT?) My feeling is that anyone has a right to eat himself to a diseased state, but not at my expense. Obesity is going to break the health care bank in this country and it just doesn't have to happen. In my opinion, cigarette smoking is down not only because it is unhealthy but because it became socially unacceptable to smoke. It would help us as a country if it became socially unacceptable to eat like a pig. Only then, might people consider losing some weight. Think of all the health care dollars that could be saved. We could use it for something worthwhile like education.

I am not talking about a little excess weight. Even as much as twenty or thirty pounds, although that isn't the greatest thing for a person. I am talking about fifty, a hundred or even more. In this country, we are in danger of that kind of obesity becoming the norm.

Well, I am off to bed now that I have finished my rant. I know I risk sounding judgemental and uncaring but someone has to start saying these things. And tonight, I am that someone.

In closing, here is the letter to the editor that I sent earlier tonight.


The HT article, "Health-care crisis looming for Hoosiers" (June 11) notes that Indiana Senate Democrats have called for universal health coverage for all Hoosiers. I agree that there should be some kind of health care coverage for all Hoosiers and indeed all Americans. But, I think that it must be tied to personal responsibility, especially in the case of obesity related diseases. Why should our tax dollars (or even private sector dollars) pay for the treatment of an adult patient who is unwilling to modify his or her eating habits and lose the excessive weight that is causing his or her health problems? To some this might sound harsh, but it is simply a matter of financial practicality. We are quickly becoming a nation of unnaturally fat people who simply eat way too much and exercise far too little. And, Indiana is one of the fattest states in the union. Obesity related diseases are costly. We cannot afford to write a blank check to treat these preventable conditions. To “focus on prevention and healthier lifestyles” is not enough. We must demand personal responsibility.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Junk Food Stupor

I have been unable to write, loyal readers, for two reasons. First of all, my parents live in the dark ages with no internet connection and no computer. Second, I have been in an unhealthy food-induced stupor for my entire visit to Herkimer. After several days at my parent's house, I am now at the sane and wonderful home of my dear friends Cindy and David Staley, where there is (obviously) an internet connection, fresh fruits and vegetables in the kitchen and a selection of healthy foods and most importantly, good wine. They even have drinkable coffee! It's Nirvana after a steady diet of spaghetti and meatballs, bologna sandwiches, pizza and not a drop of potable alcohol. Sure, there was bud light in cans in my parents' fridge, but I wasn't fooled. I know that stuff ain't safe to drink.

I now have a gut that would rival a fifty year-old male who drinks a six pack every night while watching ESPN. I've adjusted my car seat so that the steering wheel doesn't rub against it. But, I should look at the bright side. I will fit in better in the third most obese state in the union when I return home to it.

More later from Hoosier Soil.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Jack's Teacher Gifts



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
These are the gifts I made for Jack's teachers for the end of the school year. I am a creative genius, no?

Delicious Treats & Weekend Update



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
And this is the inside of one of the gift packs I made for Jack's teachers. I don't know why I would post these other than to show off because I thought the little suitcases and the labels were so very cute. There. I showed off. Hope you liked it. I hope his teachers liked the cookies, too.

This weekend was pretty nice. Last night Chris and I went out for sushi and then decided last minute to go and see "Thank You for Smoking". I really enjoyed it. Entertaining, well acted, fun & not too long. I give it two thumbs up.

Today, Jack had his friend Frannie over (aka Ms. Box from a previous post.) She is an absolute doll and they seem to get along really well. Except for the part where Jack got pissed off at her for drawing a little tiny pink dot on the drawing he was working on. He took his marker and basically scribbled all over her drawing and destroyed it. They made up later over popsicles, but if he doesn't stop this kind of obnoxious behaviour, the kid ain't gonna have any friends. He has such a little temper. I wonder where he gets it.

While Jack swam at Frannie's house later, Chris and I swam laps at the wonderful IU pool. It was heaven. Later on, a babysitter came and we went out for dinner and a play. We ate outdoors at a new Turkish place (not that new...we just hadn't tried it) and it was really good. Then, we went to a play at our favorite small theatre in town. It was well acted for a local production and enjoyable but the play wasn't all that good of a play.

Well, I just looked at the clock. Sorry that there was nothing witty or thought provoking in this post. (Or many other posts lately.) It is just too late to squeeze something worth reading out of my tired little brain. Fear not, though, loyal readers. I leave for Herkimer on Monday and on that trip I certainly gather lots of weird stuff for the blog whether I want to or not.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Waiting for the Car & Hogging the Computer

I am waiting for my car to be done with it's overpriced service while I hog this computer in the waiting room. To be fair, nobody else looks as if they are wanting to use it. If they do, they will just have to kick me off. So there.

I suppose I could turn around and ask if anyone wants to use this.

Nah.

Kate left yesterday for NY and after I dropped Jack off at school, I went home to an empty house. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. I really enjoyed having Kate here for an extended visit - we have so much fun together - but it is a relief to be getting back in my routine again. At least until Monday when I begin the forced march to upstate NY to see the parentals. Jack and I are DRIVING!!! to Herkimer to see my parents who will consistently forget to read food labels and eat peanut butter with Jack in the room. Delightful.

Whenever we visit, which is not so often now that we live in the good old heartland, my mother always says, "I'll make spaghetti and meatballs for you". And, that is all she will cook while we are there. On the first night, we will have spaghetti and meatballs. The next night, we will order pizza from Yetty's, which I must admit makes the best pizza in the universe. On the third night, we will have spaghetti and meatballs again. And of course, no fresh vegetables - unless you count iceberg lettuce salad doused in Wishbone EYEtalian dressing. On the fourth night, I will flee to my dear friend Cindy's house. On the fifth night, back to my parents for meatball sandwiches.

I don't think that my mother was always a one dish wonder. I try to remember whether we ate other things growing up and I have to say that I belive that we did. In fact, I don't even remember having spaghetti and meatballs all that often as a kid. But now, that is all I get. Well, and bologna, tomato and may sandwiches on white bread for lunch. Okay, I admit it...that is my favorite sandwich in the world. I never order it in public nor do I make it in the privacy of my own home. But when in Rome...

My car is ready! Bye for now.