Thursday, November 24, 2011

Count Your Blessings- Thanksgiving 2011


Thanksgiving isn't just about the food. Yes, the turkey or Tofurkey and all the fixings, and the pumpkin and apple pies are all yummy, but that's not the only thing we should be celebrating. The true spirit of Thanksgiving is, obviously, about giving thanks for all the blessings we  have in our life. 

Granted, in this economy, some have more than others, but we can all find things in our lives that we can be grateful for.  I don't make much money in the arts, but I am very blessed to have a roof over my head and food on the table, and a generous family that supports and encourages me.  Today is the day to take stock of what you do have, however little that might be and give thanks. 

The above cartoon and the anonymous poem below put everything into perspective.

"Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
 Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself."

I wish you all a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Congress Rules Pizza Is a Vegetable

Okay, so Congress didn't actually come out and say that pizza was a vegetable, but they might as well have.  Aside from the fact that technically, the tomato is considered a fruit,  tomato sauce on a pizza does not constitute a serving of vegetables.  Although a registered Republican, there are certain issues that I don't  agree with, and our children's nutritional needs are one of them.  Childhood obesity in the U.S. is an ever-growing problem and something needs to be done.  Yes, some of that burden lies with the parents- they need to stop feeding their kids fast food and force them off the sofa and into the backyard to exercise. But since kids spend their days in school, and they are fed there, it is incumbent upon us to ensure they are fed properly. Congress, in efforts to save money is doing it at the expense of our kids.

The controversy boils down to this:

Congress wants pizza and french fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration's efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools.

The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year. These include limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line, putting new restrictions on sodium and boosting the use of whole grains. The legislation would block or delay all of those efforts.

The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now.

SDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that.

Nutritionists say the whole effort is reminiscent of the Reagan administration's much-ridiculed attempt 30 years ago to classify ketchup as a vegetable to cut costs. This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied Congress.

School meals that are subsidized by the federal government must include a certain amount of vegetables, and USDA's proposal could have pushed pizza-makers and potato growers out of the school lunch business.

The irony is that an unhealthy, overweight child is going to wind up costing the taxpayer a ton more money, down the line, when the kid gets sick from all that pizza and french fries for lunch.  Yes, Republicans have a point in not wanting government  to dictate what a child eats, but if the school and/or parents are going to skimp, then something needs to be done. Whether its more education or regulation.  Children are far more important than being pawns in political games.

For more on the story, click here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Video of Man's Best Friend- Dogs Welcoming Home Returning Soldiers

There is nothing like a dog. Dogs truly are man's best friend. Loving and unconditional.  This is a heartwarming video of dogs welcoming home their soldier masters.

Source: WelcomeHomeBlog

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Giving People A Chance- Autistic Basketball player Jason McElwain

Here's a feel-good story for today.

Sometimes we just need to give those who are a little different a chance to shine. They inevitably will.