Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Mom, ahead of her time


I have been thinking about some of the issues and ideas that I deal with daily in my job, either from my work or those of my coworkers. Ideas such as eat local, grow your own garden, know where your food comes from, breastfeed, exercise regularly, limit TV viewing, don't drink sugary drinks and eat fruits and vegetables. My whole division is dedicated to these issues. While none of these things are novel to me I have always chalked that up studying public health, but the more I reflect, I realize it is thanks to my mom.

My mom was the daughter of a farmer and had a green thumb- I think Matt stole those genes from the rest of us siblings- so we always had a garden and used home-made compost for fertilizer. I have vivid memories of carrying buckets of grossness behind the house to dump into the compost pile. Since my grandpa had cows most of the meet we ate growing up was various types of beef that came from the slaughter of his cows, so we knew where is came from.

Uncle Brian's wedding, mom's the one on the far right. This really is a great picture that captures so much family awkwardness all at once.

As for breastfeeding, one of my fondest memories as a child is leaning on moms shoulder and watching James, my younger brother, breastfeed. Breastfeeding was never a gross, inappropriate or something that should be covered up-except maybe at church- but was a natural part of life. The fact that James breastfed at all actually surprises me because he was premature and had to be in the hospital for a 21 days. Who knows what they fed him there and how hard mom probably had to work to get him breastfeeding.

I don't remember watching a lot of TV growing up. Of course, mom let me indulge in the PBS greats like Sesame Street, Today Special and Mr. Rogers but other than that I spent time doing other things like playing with friends, annoying my siblings or working. Work! You heard me right, I had to work. Each of us children had 'jobs' that were assigned by means of a carefully-crafted job chart. Much time was consumed by jobs. This was something I detested at the time, but since have been ever so grateful that my parents taught us kids to work.

In terms of nutrition we always had great balanced meals and drank juice, not pop. Even today I mainly drink water, milk and juice; I am not a fan of soda or pop as some people call it. Due to the fact that we had a huge garden we had lots of fruits and vegetables. A vegetable garden in the back yard and and orchard and berry patches in front.

Mom not only exercised but she took me with her. I remember spending many hours at the community pool playing by myself or with Adam in the shallow end while mom watched from her water aerobics class. Sunday walks were common and with multiple gardens there was lots of yard work.

All I have explained is really just a long way to say that my mom was ahead of her time. Today she would probably be termed a 'foodie', a hippie, a conservationist or a member of the slow food movement. However to me she was just mom, a really smart, great woman.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

While most people in the US celebrated Valentines Day today, at my house, we celebrated Chinese New Year. Our celebration took the form of a potluck dinner. The result was lots of delicious food, me overeating and developing a huge food-baby. We had wontons, spring roles, stir-fry, cucumber salad, fortune cookies and much more.

Here is the dining area with all the delicious food.

Food and Friends. Rob, Sara, Nikki, Carrie, Brooke and Your's truly around the table.

Jake, the camera-man and main planner of the event so he gets a solo shot.

Not so Hotlanta: Part Dex

I just had to add some pictures from the day after the snow storm. It was quite beautiful and the roads quite treacherous. I just stayed in home.

Friday, February 12, 2010


With no excuse not to blog today here are a few pictures of snow in Atlanta. I really can't complain when I consider that my DC friends have been snowed-in all week. A fact that has been reinforced over and over again on NPR. Thanks to All Things Considered, I now know what books to read when it's snowing, what foods to eat when it's snowing and what swear words to say when it's snowing; if I hear another NPR story about being snowed-in I may lose it. I was almost relieved when I heard a story about Bill Clinton being hospitalized.

Ironic that I am now the one snowed in, not because I can't handle snow but native Atlantans can't, and I don't want to be out on those roads.