Saturday, August 28, 2010

One-day challenge

Try going one complete day spending absolutely no money - no charges to a card - no online orders - etc.  It's a bit harder than you think.  You may find yourself reaching into your pocket for change for a vending machine...  Nothing creates a clearer picture of how consumer-oriented we are than to "fast" from consumerism for an entire day.  Stock up ahead - fill the tank with gas - be sure there's food in the fridge, etc.  When you succeed with one day - try a week.  It's truly a consciousness-raising activity :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Twenty-nine years ago, after a month's engagement, I married my friend, Wayne Youngblood.  Who knew what that even meant when we began?  Certainly not us.  We knew we recognized in each other something unique and precious we didn't want to lose.  However, building a life together, shaping a family, earning a living, facing making priority decisions over small expenditures as well as large issues -- we had no clue.

Love is not the "happy ever after."  It is, however, the foundation for facing together all life has to offer without giving up.  It requires faith in each other, patience, give and take, a long-term balance sheet (not expecting everything to be equal on a given day).  We had the misfortune of being married in the 80s when we felt compelled to shed any gender-based expectations -- then discovered over the years, you cannot make the genders interchangeable!!  We look at things differently, have different strengths and weaknesses.  Women toss words through the air as if they are ping-pong balls - Men see those words flying and duck from them as if they were lead cannonballs.  So many differences!!

But, the beauty is that life is so much richer for the differences - for the struggles and joys and sorrows.  To choose to build a life together is like choosing to swim in the ocean instead of the 4' deep pool in the apartment complex.  It's risky, envigorating, scary, exciting and so much more satisfying.

I was looking through snapshots of our wedding today.  In no way would I choose the young Wayne & Dorothy over who we are today.  We may at times be tired old curmudgeons, but we are much better people for the 29 years we have spent together.

Do I recommend marriage in general?  That depends.  If you want a solution to life's problems, a happy ending, a simplification of life, then "NO."   If, however, you want a more complex and rich existence, and have the character and motivation to commit through thick and thin - then by all means "YES!"  You, like me, will be glad you did.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nutrition $1.01

In our fifties, Wayne and I are finally grasping what it is to eat well and not spend much money at it.  The garden helps, but so do some simple recipes and an accumulation of seasonings.

One of our favorite meals for under $1.00 per serving is salmon grilled under the broiler with a huge side of sauteed zucchini.  A 16oz package of Salmon Fillets purchased at Aldi's costs $3.89 = 4 servings = $.97 per serving.  Add free zucchini (2 cups) from the garden and this is what you get:

188 calories
24 g protein
4 g fat
60 mg cholesterol
80 mg sodium
14g carbs
6 g fiber

Lots of great feelings of YUMM when you add a spoonful of hot raspberry jelly to the top of the salmon.  If you're thinking that's not enough - add some brown rice and enjoy!