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Aloha Friday  

Posted by: Meredith



In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. Kalani @ An Island Life is hosting Aloha Friday. What's that you ask? I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!


Today's Question is:


What is your favorite health/diet food?
I love to add avacado to anything I am eating when I am trying to lose weight. They are full of the healthy fat that we don't get enough of, and they are just delicious. I am looking for ideas of things to eat to help lose weight, but not starve myself, which does no good.


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DAY 1...  

Posted by: Meredith

Well I actually got up this morning to begin the slim-down for the cruise. I hopped on the treadmill and set the incline workout for 45 minutes. Well after 20 minutes I could hardly breath, and after 30 minutes I had to stop for fear of passing out with my lungs on fire.

I am assuming (which is an awful thing to do according to my mother) that I have some pneumonia onset asthma. I have heard that it can take many months to totally recover from pneumonia, but this sucks. I suppose a call to the doctor will now be added to the agenda for the day.

Either way, I am happy with myself that I actually got up, walked the dog in the sub-freezing weather, and sweat for a little bit. It's a beginning. I will definately push my way through at least 40 minutes tomorrow. Maybe after a doctor prescribed inhaler to prevent raging fire in my lungs I will be able to step up the workout to really get that weight to come off.


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Back to the treadmill  

Posted by: Meredith

Time to get CRUISE ready!
Hubby J. and I are going on a western Caribbean cruise in January. I am so excited. Neither one of us has ever been on a cruise and we have heard how fun they can be.
I mean when does 'all you can eat' and 'room service' ever sound bad?
When Hubby J. and I got married we were so busy with the routine life stuff such as: work, the kid, school, and more work. We did not get to go on a honeymoon because the Fall semester at school started two days after the wedding, and life has been non-stop since.
So we decided it was time for the two of us to get away from everything and act like it is our honeymoon. And maybe try a little baby making while we are there. (SHHH... keep that quiet. I haven't completely talked Hubby J. into it yet.)
Anyway, I have decided that I am in desperate need of some good ol' hard work to make sure that itty bitty bikini fits for the cruise. I figure the only way I am gonna get my sleepy head out of the bed at 5:30 in the morning to hit the treadmill is if I have some motivation.
And no, the cute bikini and my husband on the beach in Ocho Rios is NOT enough motivation for me. I figure only the fear of public humiliation will do the trick.
So my plan is to blog my progress. I know I can get into the habit of working out, as I was on a roll this past spring and lost weight and really toned up for the summer. However, stress of losing and job and having to find another, followed by months of illness has put the pounds back on.
Beginning tomorrow (and I realize that Friday is one hell of a day to begin anything) I will be getting up before Hubby J. and Little B. to sweat on the treadmill. Wish me luck, I plan to report the progress every two days or so.


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If you still have not made up your mind, or have yet to vote...  

Posted by: Meredith

I read this post on the The Volokh Conspiracy, that I thought made a lot of sense. It does not try to push you toward one candidate or the other, just another way to think about voting...

Many people are opposed to “party line” voting (by which I mean voting in partisan general elections based almost entirely on candidates’ party affiliation, rather than focusing more on each candidate’s own particular politics or character). Such party line voting, they argue, shows laziness, stereotyping, or lack of independence. I, on the other hand, think that in most situations voting for the party and not for the candidate is the most sensible approach. A few words on why. 1. Elections of legislators (federal or state). Which particular people are in the legislature definitely matters -- but which party has a legislative majority matters far more. Legislative power is generally exercised by organized legislative party blocs, not by individual representatives who make up their own minds.

I generally think the country would be better off if the Republicans (for all their warts) are in control than if the Democrats are. So if I and those like me vote for a Democratic candidate over a Republican because we think that this particular Democrat is better (smarter, more honest, or even more in agreement with us on many issues, despite his party affiliation), and this candidate’s election ends up giving Democrats control of the relevant legislative chamber, then we’ve hurt the causes that we favor: By electing this candidate, whom we like, we’ve essentially elected a party that we dislike. And even if the candidate breaks with the party in some cases (which may be part of why we voted for him), in most situations -- both when voting on legislation, and, as importantly, voting on whom to put on various legislative committees and the like -- he’ll follow party discipline. 2. Elections of Presidents and governors. Presidents and governors ostensibly exercise executive power by themselves, so I may well imagine that an honest, smart Democrat may do a better job than a dishonest, dumb Republican.
But in reality, electing a President or governor also means electing his party, and not just him. First, he’ll probably select a cabinet that’s drawn from a wide chunk of his own party (since, among other things, he needs to maintain good relations with the party faithful). He may well appoint some judges that he might not much like, but that help cement relations with various wings of his party. And a Democratic President may let a Democratic Congress get its way on more issues (even ones on which he doesn’t fully agree with them), or may block the Republican Congress’s proposals (even ones which he doesn’t much disagree with), because that’s what his party base will want. (Naturally, all this applies equally to Republican Presidents.)
This suggests to me that one should basically ask “Which party do I want to see in power?,” and then vote for candidates of that party nearly all the time -- because you are in effect electing a party, more than you are electing a person. There are, of course, some exceptions (“Intentionally voting for split government” is one that I’ve heard most talked about this year): A. The truly awful candidates. Some candidates are so bad -- either so personally dishonest or corrupt, or so far from your own views -- that you might refuse to vote for them, even if you generally support their party. First, you might just feel that you can’t endorse this person. Second, even if your view is purely instrumental, you might think that it’s better for your party if this member of the party is defeated than if he wins. I’d have voted against David Duke in Louisiana for both of those reasons. B. Trying to affect the position of your own preferred party. In some situations, you might feel more strongly about sending a message to the leadership of your preferred party than you do about winning this particular election. I take it that this is what some (though not all) Nader voters who otherwise preferred Democrats were thinking in 2000, as were some Libertarian voters who otherwise preferred Republicans. I think this is a dangerous game to play, but if that’s what you’re self-consciously trying to do, then I can see why you’d vote against your otherwise preferred party. Again, though, the focus should be on which party you want to elect, and not whether you think this particular candidate is a better person than the other one. C. Nonpartisan elections and primaries. Naturally, none of this applies to nonpartisan elections or to primaries where you’re choosing from several candidates within the same party. D. Intentionally voting for split government. You might conclude that it’s better for the country if control of the House, Senate, and the Presidency are split; if that’s so, then you might intentionally vote for one party in one race and another in another. E. Mixed preferences for a major party and a third party. You might want to vote Republican if the election is close and your vote might matter to the outcome (see item I below on that), but Libertarian if the election isn’t close and you want to express support for Libertarians; likewise for Democrats and Greens and similar combinations. But this too is a reflection of the core strategic principle, which is usually “vote for the party, not for the candidate.” F. Different preferences at different levels of government. My suggestion that you should choose your preferred party operates at each level of government; you might, for instance, conclude that you want the Republicans to run the country, but you want the Democrats to run the state government of your own state. That’s consistent with my general theory. (Who controls the states may affect who controls the federal government, and vice versa, but the effect is weak enough that supporting different parties at different levels may make sense.) I would just say that you should then vote for Republican candidates virtually all the time at the federal level, and for Democratic candidates virtually all the time at the state level. G. The voter who is really in the middle. If you are really so much in the middle that you are indifferent whether the Democrats or the Republicans win, then of course it makes sense to vote for the particular candidate that you like most: The strategic party power considerations are by hypothesis irrelevant to you -- you’d rather elect (say) a smart Republican over a dumb Democrat because you just don’t care whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in power. I think few people really feel that way, though; I think that even if you aren’t a consistent supporter of one party or the other, and even if you disagree with much that either party would do, you can probably identify what you think is the lesser of two evils (or the greater of two very slight goods) in any particular election. H. The voter who is near the middle, and who really cares a lot about a particular candidate. This is a more common variant of G -- say you mildly prefer the Democrats over the Republicans, but you think that this Republican candidate is much better than the Democrats, in a way that really matters: Either he has the brilliance or charisma to really add a lot to legislative deliberations, or he is running for an executive office, where one person’s character, intelligence, and policy preferences really can make a huge difference. This too may be reason enough for you to abandon party-line voting; but again, you’d have to really feel that this one candidate can do so much good that the expected value of this good really exceeds the expected harm of the wrong party (from your perspective, of course) getting power. I. Expressive voting. Of course, there’s been something of a fiction behind this whole discussion of strategic voting -- the fiction that your vote will make much of a difference. In fact, your one vote is highly unlikely to affect things (though in a few elections, including even Congressional ones, the result does turn on a handful of votes). We therefore vote largely because of how it makes us feel about ourselves (e.g., because we’ve been taught that to be a dutiful citizen, one should vote, or because we feel good about voting for a particular person we really like). So under that approach, if it makes you feel good to think that you vote based on each candidate’s individual merit, that’s what you should do, and never mind the practical consequences, since as a practical matter, your one vote is extaordinarily unlikely to actually have any practical consequences.

Still, I find it hard to feel good about casting a vote that, if duplicated by many others, would actually lead to a result that I dislike. That might ultimately be more an aesthetic rather than rational judgment here, but that’s what expressive voting necessarily involves. Thus, so long as I feel that I ought to vote, based on the fiction that my vote does have some practical effect, I prefer to go through with the fiction, and ask what practical effect that I’d like to have. And since my preferred practical effect is having the Republican Party be in power, I almost always vote party line.

Finally, I’m sure that there are other reasons to depart from the “vote the party, not the candidate” approach, though I suspect that most are variants on some of the ones I identify above. I’m not saying that party line voting is always the right approach (right in the sense of being most likely to lead to the results that you, as a voter, like). I just think there is enough reason for me to adopt it as a very strong presumption in my voting choices.


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Christ the Redeemer in Rio...  

Posted by: Meredith

This photo is amazing to me. I look at it and wonder how amazing it must be to have this reminder of our Lord, Jesus Christ, watching over us at all times.

I told Hubby J. that he has to take me to Rio de Janero one day to see the 'Christ the Redeemer' statue.

Where in the world would you go, if you could afford it?

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Aloha Friday  

Posted by: Meredith



In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. Kalani @ An Island Life is hosting Aloha Friday. What's that you ask? I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!


Today's Question is:


When and how did you know you were ready for a second child?
(Or first child if you only have one.)


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Cipro to the rescue!!!  

Posted by: Meredith

Last week I ended up taking off work for Thursday and Friday because I was not getting over the pneumonia I had been battling. Thursday I called the Dr. and he changed my antibiotic for the third time, this time trying Cipro. Lo and behold I am beginning to feel like myself again after 6 long weeks of this mess.

Reading the blogs that I follow, or stumble across, it seems that a lot of people are sick right now. I wonder if more people than usual are getting their fall colds earlier, or if I just never noticed how so many people get sick all at the same time.

Whatever the issue is with you or the person next to you, or your child, or you husband, or your neighbor, I want to send GET WELL to all of you.



Aloha Friday!  

Posted by: Meredith



In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. Kalani @ An Island Life is hosting Aloha Friday. What's that you ask? I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!


Today's Question is:


What would you give your mother for a 50th birthday present?
(My mom's birthday is just over a week away)



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Why is it that... *UPDATED*  

Posted by: Meredith

Why is it that when you have a cold/bronchitis/pneumonia, or whatever else kind of crud you get that keeps you feeling terrible, you sit inside either trying to get some rest, or you are inside at a job, and your nose is so stopped up you have to breath through your mouth, then you have to go outside for some reason or another and like a miracle your nose clears up and you can breath and feel so much better? And of course as soon as you walk back inside you are back to mouth breathing.

I am working on week number 5 of being sick. 2 rounds of antibiotics, prescription decongestants, 6 bottles of cough syrup, and 1 inhaler later, I am still not well.

I have decided, against my own belief that I will end up so grossed out that I can't eat for a week, to go to the store after work and buy a neti pot. If you have used one, and it was a good experience, let me know. If it was a bad experience, then you can laugh at me after I try it, I don't want to know before.

At this point I am willing to bend my very firm conviction that I would never put anything up my nose just to get some relief.

I will spare you all the gory details, but when I have used the neti pot and decided whether it was worth it or not, I will report back with the results.


*UPDATE* @ 11:00pm

So I obviously am not sleeping sound in my bed. No, I have started vomiting. Oh what fun. Hubby J. looked at me earlier and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital because I was acting like I was dying!

The neti pot did what it was supposed to do, and was really not that gross. I will probably end up using it on a weekly basis once I am well just to help keep things healthy.

I have no idea where the vomiting came from, so I will not try to explain that one. I am, however, going to call off work tomorrow. I have not missed a single day since I got sick 5 weeks ago, and I think it's about time I took a day to sleep without anyone in the house to bother me.

I hope everyone is resting well tonight, I will be sleeping in the recliner, in the living room, lonley and sick.

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