bowl of chocolate vs responsible adult

What should be done with this?

We have a big bowl of chocolate candy bars in our dining room. This is not normal, because we try to eat reasonably healthy most of the time. But we just passed Halloween, and for various reasons we had less trick-or-treaters this year. (I’d guess because it was a Monday — a school night — and our closest neighbors decorated less than normal. More people went to the other side of our subdivision, which had more decorations.) Regardless of how and why, the end result is a lot of tempting chocolate in my house.

So what am I supposed to do with all this chocolate? The obvious answer is to EAT IT! But there’s a flaw in the slaw: I’m trying to be a responsible adult here. One of my goals is to lose some weight and be more fit, and chocolate bars don’t exactly fit in fitness. But the counter-argument is that I’m a grown-up, so I can eat whatever I want. And that’s true. Therein lies the dilemma.

Do you remember being a kid and being limited by your parents on things like eating sweets and watching TV and playing video games? You probably dreamed of how one day you’d be a grown-up who can set your own rules and how wonderful that will be. And it is good. But you also (hopefully) learn that there are good reasons to be responsible and it’s better to do those things in moderation. It reminds me of this funny quote:

I don’t think I can talk Jen into installing a deep fat fryer in our kitchen. That’d rock! A short order grill. I can sit home and make grilled cheese sandwiches, hash browns, French fries, and pancakes all day long. Mmm. The fat kid in my brain just got really excited. The adult in my brain has to calm him down. Which really is what “growing up” is all about — telling the kid in your brain to sit down and behave, while the grown-up in our brain says, “You know, it’d be more responsible of us if we did this instead…” Stupid brain. ~ Jeff Schell

That’s the mental battle that we all must endure. But let me caution and encourage you with the word “moderation” in another context. Being an adult — especially when you have children — means being serious and responsible a lot more often than you may want to be. If we go too far on the serious side, it can drain the joy and happiness out of life. We don’t want to become an adult that forgets how to have fun. (I suppose that applies to everyone. But if you don’t want to laugh and be happy, that’s your choice, but I don’t recommend it.) Life is much better when it’s enjoyed. You can still be responsible and serious while enjoying the journey. That’s where moderation applies here — it’s not just about limiting the fun, but it can remind us to be serious in moderation. Allow yourself to have fun, even when life is busy and overwhelming. Actually, being able to enjoy your life makes the serious parts less tedious! So it’s helpful to have fun!

So the next time you’re about to eat a piece of chocolate that you might feel somewhat guilty about, find the balance — set a limit of how much, but within that limit, enjoy it as much as possible. While eating it, don’t think about calories or saturated fat grams or sugar or how much exercise it would take to burn it off — just close your eyes and savor each delicious bite. (You tend to enjoy it more when you eliminate distractions, so closing your eyes actually helps.)

Now go enjoy a reasonably-sized piece of chocolate! 🙂

it’s time to replace the Easter Bunny

Have you ever wondered why there’s a tradition of an Easter Bunny that leaves eggs and candy for children?  Is that believable?  Surely there’s a better way.

I came across an article on this issue that makes a lot of sense: replace the Easter Bunny with an Easter Ninja.  Now, for those stuck in the rut of tradition, this may seem absurd.  But you should read the article, because it really does make a lot of sense.  Plus, it’s humorous.  And as he explains, not only would it be better for children, but a ninja is much cooler than a bunny, along with being much more believable.

Here’s a quick preview:

Ladies and gentlemen, say goodbye to the Easter Bunny, and say hello to the Easter Ninja!  The Easter Ninja’s modus operandi is similar to that of the bunny, i.e. he breaks into your house and leaves baskets of eggs and candy.  The only difference is instead of leaving carrots for the bunny, children leave carefully constructed booby traps that the Easter Ninja must negotiate without setting off to fill their baskets.  Everyone knows thwarting traps makes ninjas happy, so the Easter Ninja will reward clever children with baskets of eggs and Easter Ninja shaped chocolates. ~ Chris Carlisle

Here’s the full article:

Replacing the Easter Bunny with an Easter Ninja.  [link broken]

I’m thinking we should start a petition to make this happen.  Spread the word!

the special days of June, pt 1

As we’ve done in previous months, we’re going to look at the special days and holidays of this month.  As usual, this is not a complete list — those can be found elsewhere.  But I guarantee you will not find another list like this one.  This is not a mere list, because we add our own unique commentary and analysis.  In other words, we try to make it more fun.  And you are welcome to add to the discussion in the comments section.

Let’s get started with the month-long celebrations and observances in June:

  • Candy Month — This is a good one to start with.  The best way to celebrate candy is to eat it!  So choose whatever you like, such as candy corn, candy bars, etc.
  • nachos (click to enlarge)Dairy Month — Dairy products include milk and cheese and ice cream.  That would also include chocolate milk, nachos / chip-n-dip, and milkshakes.  And this holiday / celebration lasts all month!  I can get excited about this one!
  • National Adopt a Cat Month — Doesn’t this seem kind of mean?  If you adopt a cat for a month, feeding it, playing with it, then you take it back to the pound or just release it into the wild — isn’t that mean?  Did someone create this as a secret way to treat cats badly?  I’m not going to participate in this one.
  • National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month — Who comes up with this?  I’m boycotting this holiday.   Besides, meat is a better meal than vegetables — even the Bible tells us that.
  • flowersRose Month — There’s a certain reader here who will appreciate this one.  (He also gets a kick out of this particular picture, for some reason.) 🙂
  • Turkey Lovers Month — Shouldn’t this be in November, because of Thanksgiving?  But I reckon people already eat lots of turkey then, so whoever created this wants us to eat it at other times.  I wonder if this was created by people who sell turkeys for consumption…
  • Great Outdoors Month — More outdoors, less work.  (Although, if you work outdoors, you might want a holiday for staying home to watch TV or play video games.)
  • National Iced Tea Month — This is what I’m talkin’ about!  Since I already drink tea on a regular basis (and you should too), here’s how this should be celebrated : all restaurants offer tea (both sweet and unsweet) for free for the whole month of June.
  • National Tennis Month — Tennis is an excellent sport!  Everyone should play.  It’s even fun if you don’t understand the rules and just want to hit the ball hard at each other.  🙂
  • Potty Training Awareness Month — Let’s face it, if you aren’t potty trained, you should be aware of it if you’re older than 2 years old.  If that’s you, the people around you are certainly aware of it!  I don’t think we need a holiday for awareness of this.

Now let’s move on to the weekly celebrations:

  • Week 2 — Email Week — Send a personal e-mail to all your friends.  And remember that you can use our Contact Us page to ask any question whatsoever.  I’ll be your friend.  (Sing with me: “Won’t you be my neighbor?”)
  • Week 4 — National Camping Week — Camping can be a good time.  Go out in nature and “rough it” for a few days.  Catch your own food and cook it over an open fire.  Sleep under the stars.  Or do like many people do — take a camper to sleep in, where you have a toilet and a real bed.  That’s not really “roughing it”, but it can still be a good time.  It’s refreshing to be out in nature, away from civilization.  Take some time away from technology, like TV, cell phones, the Internet (unless you’re out for several days and need to keep up with the latest randomness at this blog).  🙂

This is becoming a long list, so I’ll continue it in the next post.  Click here to search for the other entries for June.

the special days of November, pt 2

Here’s part 2 of our analysis of the special holidays in November.  Now on to the individual days that are holidays in November :

  • 2 Look for Circles Day — Uhh… who thought of this?  But I reckon some people care about this sort of thing, so I’ll help you get started.  oOoOoOoOoO  🙂  Actually, when you look for something specific that we tend to overlook like a certain shape or color, it helps you see things differently.  So it might not be such a bad idea after all.
  • 4 National Candy Day — It seems odd to have this a few days after Halloween, when everyone eats all kinds of candy, but so it goes.  Obviously, you should eat lots of candy this day.  Have fun!
  • 5 National Donut Day — Since this is an important holiday and stuff, you should go all out.  I recommend visiting a Krispy Kreme store that makes the doughnuts (donuts) there, and get one that just came off the conveyor belt.  Trust me on this — it’s awesome.  It’s so soft and sweet, and it almost melts in your mouth.  Also suggested is to get some chocolate-filled donuts.  Mmm…
  • 6 Marooned without a Compass Day — I’d recommend you not attempt this — it may turn into more than just one day.  Who thinks up these things?  Perhaps it was some bitter sailor who was stranded on an island for a long time, living with monkeys and eating coconuts, and he wants others to relate to his plight.
  • 7 Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day — This one is self-explanatory : EAT IT.
  • 7 Hug-a-Bear Day — They didn’t specify whether this is about teddy bears or real bears.  But for your own safety, you should limit this to your teddy bear.  And also for your own safety, you should do this only when you’re at home… by yourself… and then only if you must.
  • 13 Sadie Hawkins Day — I don’t know if anyone still celebrates this or not, but I found out some interesting trivia about it.  It started in a cartoon by Al Capp in the 1930s.  In the cartoon, the mayor of Dogpatch was desperate to marry off his ugly daughter.  So he created this day, where single women chase single men.  The men are given a short head start, and if the woman catches her man, he has to marry her.  I don’t recommend participating in this one, for obvious reasons.
  • 13 Mom’s and Dad’s Day — What?  They’ve already got major holidays, each.  So what’s the point of this?
  • 15 Great American Smokeout — This is a day to quit smoking.  You don’t have to wait until this holiday, though. Smokers should stop TODAY.  I realize it’s difficult, but the grace of God can empower you to overcome it.  (Sorry for the momentary seriousness.  Consider it a public service announcement courtesy of Buffet o’ Blog.  Besides, if smokers quit, it will make the world a better place.)
    teddy bear in grass
  • 16 Have a Party With Your Bear Day — Didn’t we just have something like this on the 7th?  I glanced online to see what was said about this day, and it’s kinda shocking : “What a swell day it is going to be!  You get to have a party.  And, you get to spend time with your Teddy Bear.  I bet you can’t think of anything that is more fun!!  Get out the party banners and balloons.  Make a cake.  Send out the invitations.  Invite all of your teddy bears, and your human friends, too.  Let them bring their teddys along.  Today is going to be a fun day.”  Uhh… are they serious?  I bet I could find quite a few things more fun than serving cake to a teddy bear.  But to each their own…
  • 17 Homemade Bread Day — Now here’s something good!  If you haven’t ever had freshly baked homemade bread, you are missing out!  While it’s baking, it creates a great aroma that fills your house, making everyone hungry.  Some of you may be thinking, “It’s just bread”, but don’t dis’ it until you’ve tried it.  And here’s the day to try it.
  • 17 Take A Hike Day — Sounds reasonable.  But wait until you’ve finished reading this and left a comment.  🙂
  • 17 World Peace Day — I think some countries didn’t get the memo.  It’s a noble idea, but it needs more promotion.
  • 19 Have a Bad Day Day — Who thought of this?  I refuse to participate in such tomfoolery!
  • 20 Absurdity Day — Maybe this is the proper day for farting into the phone during a conference call at work.  It would certainly be absurd and illogical.  And then you could tell your boss why you did it, that it’s for a holiday and it makes the workplace more festive and stuff.
  • 21 False Confession Day — I’m building a life-size replica of the Death Star.  And when I get bored, I build suspension bridges in my backyard.  Oh, and the laws of physics don’t apply to me.
  • 22 Thanksgiving Day — You know about this one already.  Give thanks for all the blessings God has given us, including the great freedoms we enjoy in America.  Oh, and of course we should be thankful for turkey and dressing, ham, mashed taters, macaroni & cheese, sweet tea, pecan pie, chocolate chip cookies, etc.  🙂
  • 23 Buy Nothing Day — This holiday is always the day after Thanksgiving, but retailers seem to have not gotten the memo.  Maybe it used to be the case, and that’s why there’s all these huge sales.  This day is also known as Black Friday.
  • 25 National Parfait Day — A parfait is a dessert made of several layers of different flavors of ice cream, among other things.  I’m not sure of the best place to get one, but if you don’t know where to buy one, just eat some ice cream, and you can layer in some Oreos with it.  Improvise if you have to.
  • 26 National Cake Day — Eat cake… lots of cake.
  • 30 Stay At Home Because You Are Well Day — Ahh, an excuse to not work.  That’s all you’ve got to say for me!  This is a good idea, I think.  Sometimes we need a day off of work just to relax and do fun stuff.

There you have it.  November has lots of special days, something for everyone.  Now I’ll end my rambling.  Any of you reading this are encouraged to share your thoughts, opinions, or analysis in the comments section.  Surely you’ve got some thoughts on all this…