A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Friday, October 31, 2008


Just back from a little jaunt to Tennessee. These signs were in a patch of grass on a residential street. At first I was confused about which house they belonged to, but then concluded three houses are down the lane, out of sight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No mammogram on THIS day

Have always wondered how a one-person OB/Gyn shop (one doc) can see to his/her patients while awaiting calls on near-deliveries. It happened to me this morning; my doc was about to do his thing for my checkup (after which I always expect him to propose) when his cell went off. He took the call and was told the woman was 5-6 cm. dilated. He then turned back to me and said I was the last patient he'd be seeing for the next little while.
Whew! Glad we got that in.
A few minutes later, the receptionist got on the phone to schedule my first age-40 mammogram. (Actually, I had one at 30 but that's a different story.) The BIG DAY is Nov. 21, and would you know she scheduled it for 8:30 that morning? The morning of my birthday?
I'll be darned if I'm not going to reschedule. I mean, really! The last thing I want to do on my birthday, much less at 8:30 in the morning, is stick my goods in the waffle iron.
Going out of town tomorrow for two days. Be nice to Michael and Bisquick, if you happen to see them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prostate update

If you're a man of a certain age, I urge you to get a prostate exam.
Our friend Larry Foley at work wrote about his cancer for the paper a few months ago; nearing retirement age, he never had such an exam and now the cancer is in his bones. In his column, he pleaded with people to get checked, too.
The party I mentioned from Sunday — at the house with all the TVs — was a fundraiser for Larry and his wife. She's had her own serious health issues this past year as well, and they need help.
Say a prayer for Larry. He's a dear soul and has been such a dedicated employee for many, many years. Want to donate? Contact me. (AKennedy(at)Ledger-Enquirer.com)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The man cave

This is something you need to see. But only if you like football. Or if you're a guy.
A friend of ours, who just hosted a party today/this evening, has what he calls a Man Cave. Five TVs — some of size and with all this fancy stuff I can't explain — in one room. Cute girl in the photo? The TV behind her is just on the other side of the wall of the man cave. So that makes six sets.
I'm not poking fun (he's afraid I am); this is just a male-female/Mars-Venus thing.
At one point I ran upstairs where some womenfolk were sitting around a table. Talking. Quietly.
Too much sensory overload in the Man Cave. With all the TVs on and sound blaring, it bears a striking resemblance to being in Times Square.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This and that

As Kitty and I were enjoying our coffee this morning (he prefers decaf), I talked to a friend of mine who is the priest at this church.
He and his wife are the proud new parents of dogs Jacob and Esau, whom he described as cocker-spaniel mix. They're brothers, as you might gather from the biblical reference. They're 15 weeks old, and a bit "crazed," as Donald says.
I hope to meet the canines next week, as I'm journeying here for a few days and will make a stop in Chattanooga.
The family's former dog, now deceased, was named Sugar, or Sugardog. He is buried off the coast of Maine.
Next topic: I've taken major naps the past two days. Came home early yesterday and slept for two hours. Slept that much again today after lunch. Weird. But as Michael reminds me: Your body is trying to tell you something. ("Rest!")
Final topic: Fall is pretty here so far. I wish we had the vivid colors of our friends to the north; but at least it's nice to have a break from the long summer and its humidity.
Will see some better colors next week, for sure.
Have a great weekend, Internet.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Have you heard of these body cleansings?
Oprah, perhaps more famous than the Queen of England, talks about her 21-day cleanse here. The point is to rid your body of, well, junk that has accumulated. During a cleanse, you eat only fruits and berries and nuts and such. (I exaggerate. Some.)
But I don't get how the emotional part completely goes away, as this piece suggests. Because aren't you just putting off emotional eating for 21 days? Or do you think your brain and heart adjust too?
Internet, what do you think? Anyone out there ever done a cleanse?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bountiful harvest

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing this woman, Benita Long of Augusta, Ga.
She and some friends published a book through Thomas Nelson Publishers. "Come to the Table" is part recipe book, part photo/coffee table book, part biblical/historical/literary book having to do with food — and, larger than that, enjoying food with family and friends.
Because I used to work and live in Augusta, we had some friends in common. And it turns out, we were neighbors, unbeknownst to one another, for about five years.
So that part was cool, too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Election brew

Over here at Columbus Coffee, proprietor John Woodward recently came up with a cool marketing tool: an Obama blend and a McCain blend.
Last I heard, the blends will go through the election.
They're keeping tabs.
Enjoy! And remember: Vote early and vote often.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Opting out

Fascinating. This guy in Texas, married with three kids, has opted out of his company's healthcare plan. Why? It would cost him $1,000 per month.
He figures, in the long run, he'll come out even or be ahead if he pays for everything out of pocket. Could be. (And you know this guy prays every day nothing serious happens! — car accidents and the like.) Back in the day, as recently as a few years ago, I expressed shock at friends who didn't have insurance. Because you always think of the "What ifs"? But I completely get this guy's position. A thousand dollars a month? I understand that it's called "insurance." It's not like you're getting something real tangible every month; you're paying for the (possible) big bill down the road.
Yet. I find it rather immoral that that amount of money doesn't get someone house calls and spa treatments.
What do you think?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New dog friends

Here are some new dog friends I'd not met until Saturday.
Bebe, on the right, is the owner of Lucy. Her son Don is the owner of Jack. We're friends with Bebe (and I've recently met Don). But Lucy is a recent addition to the family, having shown up in Bebe's neighborhood. Bebe is a True Softie and took her in to live with her and Scruffy the cat.
I don't know the identity of the other dog in the second shot.
This was taken outside Fountain City, a downtown coffee shop.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ferrol Sams

Got to thinking about Ferrol Sams today.
He's just up the road, as we say, in Fayetteville, Ga., just south of Atlanta. Sams is a rather famous regional doctor and writer. He just turned 86.
I thought of him because I've been thinking of my mother-in-law Sara, now deceased. She was a contemporary of Sams' and attended Mercer University in Macon with him. Sara dated him briefly, and was (sort of) included in "The Whisper of the River" — Sams' novel based loosely on his years in Macon.
A couple of years ago, after Sara had died, Michael and his father Hugh and I were driving around Atlanta. True to form, Hugh started to say some things about Sams that to me smacked of an old rivalry. (Michael had previously told me this was a long-festering wound of his dad's. "I never liked that guy," he'd say.) Not sure the two men ever encountered each other, as Sara and Hugh met after her Mercer days.
Bear in mind that at the time of Sara's death in 2005, she and Hugh had been married more than 50 years. They had a strong and happy marriage and raised two sons.
From the back seat, I said, "Hugh, don't you think it's time to forgive him?"
I guess there's sting in old wounds, real or imagined.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate, schmebate

Anyone watching the debate tonight?
I haven't decided yet. I've watched all of them up to this point but I usually get so worked up about them, and yell stuff at the TV, it's hard for me to relax after that. Plus I've already voted. So there's that.
Quite an election season, eh?
In the spirit of bipartisanship, what gets your vote — chocolate ice cream or vanilla?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Going raw

Found something.
This woman, Angela Stokes, after topping out at 300 pounds, went totally raw. Now she weighs 138. Going raw means she eats raw vegetables and non-processed foods and seeds and nuts and fruit.
Mostly I think, "Good job!" She's written books about her plan and her successes, and has support from many others who are walking her path. I like her reasoning that animals don't eat processed food to survive so why should we?
Then again, I have a natural suspicion about programs this extreme. What do you think?


I have absolutely no idea what to blog about. Any ideas?
As Fox News would say: "You decide."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

PMS fountain

Aka a chocolate fountain. Have you seen one of these? Forty ounces of pure chocolate flowing through this thing. I was holding back pretty well on the food intake until this came out. Just returned from Pork Chop's house (see Pork Chop in brightly colored kitchen), where we celebrated the 40th birthday of PC's husband, Jeff.
Her real name, as you can probably surmise, is not Pork Chop. It's actually Dawn. That's just what this guy at work calls her.
Happy birthday, Jeffie!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Take the poll

'Tis the season for polls. Please take ours.

Who gets your vote?
None of the above
pollcode.com free polls

If you don't get the reference, these were two of the female characters from Gilligan's Island. It's a question asked frequently of men: Are you a Ginger guy (attracted to busty, blond women) or a Maryann guy (women who are less glamorous). Thankfully my husband prefers Maryann types.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Now for something really peppy

Chocolate. The word for today is chocolate, so say we. (Bisquick and I.)
My friend Bebe reminded me earlier that chocolate will cure just about any ill. Not really, of course, but it makes for a good anecdote.
What is your absolute favorite chocolate-y thing?
I think mine would be double-chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Or, chocolate mint ice cream.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Amid the $700 billion in the government bailout package: Parity for mental illnesses in health care coverage. It's only fair; and it's about time.
Link here for the full story.
Also, here's another piece about how the economic downturn/slump/recession/depression — choose your word — is affecting people's mental health.
“This economic crisis has been going on for months and months and months,” said Josh Klapow, an associate professor of health-care organization and policy at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. “If you take the gas prices, and you couple that with home foreclosures, and you couple that with major lending agencies and investment banks going under and retail prices going up, and you couple that with a stock market that crashes plus a bailout followed by a stock market crash, you get anxiety compounding anxiety.”
Internet, what are some of your coping skills, besides "buy low, sell high"?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Favorite restaurant?

Name it.
Or, a place you have eaten once and wish you could go back.
Me? Morton's. The food and service are unreal.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mighty Max

In more pet news: Max the dog found his way home to Connecticut after being gone for several weeks — and about 45 miles.
When I was a child, my family "gave" one of our dogs to a nearby lumber yard to be a guard dog. Popeye had gotten too big for our yard and was getting into some mischief. My brother and I were sad, of course, when he left home; but we could go see him easily, as the place was only about 2 miles away. One day after the lumber yard adopted him, we were at the breakfast table and there was Popeye at the back door, wagging his tail. He'd gotten out of his new house and came back to ours. Eventually the lumber yard gave him to a nice family in the country where I trust he spent many happy years.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy anniversary, us!

It's our fifth anniversary today.
Mr. Owen will grill a steak for later. But first — the pet blessing at church. In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, pet blessings are usually on or near his Feast Day. We'll sing "All Creatures Great and Small," and each pet will receive a prayer by the priest. Sadly, Bisquick can't go. (Not fair to keep him in a box.) So we take Old Kitty (my childhood stuffed animal) and hope that blessing transfers to him.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Guys and dolls

This has nothing to do with the musical, but rather a difference between men and women in the food department.
Regular readers to this blog will recall when we asked if peanut butter needs a vehicle (such as a cracker). A male friend in our office says no, and eats it right out of the jar. (Ick.) Many women agreed with me. Yet others, who are women said, "We eat it out of a jar, too."
So obviously, the complex world we live in doesn't break down neatly, as in "all men can enjoy peanut butter out of a jar and no women can."
That said, tonight's meal was fajitas. At the grocery store, Michael had to wait on me several long minutes while I gathered the following: shredded lettuce, cheese, peppers, lime juice and sour cream and, of course, the wraps.
He was in charge of the meat.
Needless to say, you can tell which plate here is mine, and which one is his.
Men? Women? How do you prefer your fajitas?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Scream is in the building

Edvard Munch dropped by the office a while ago.
"The Scream," or "The Cry," is a series of expressionist paintings by Munch, depicting an agonized figure against a blood red sky. The landscape in the background is Oslofjord, viewed from the hill of Ekeberg, in Oslo (then Kristiania), Norway. (Source: Wikipedia.)
Munch created several versions of "The Scream" in various media. The Munch Museum holds one of two painted versions (1910) and one pastel. The National Gallery of Norway holds the other painted version (1893). A fourth version, in pastel, is owned by Norwegian billionaire Petter Olsen. Munch also created a lithograph in 1895.
"The Scream" is an appropriate symbol for these tumultuous days, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Great quote

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives. The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
— actor Paul Newman (1925-2008)