Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Week's Summary

Monday– The kids never did get around to their Friday reading last week. Now that Liam’s home, we will probably move towards reading twice a week and the other stuff twice a week, too. But they did do their Monday work and the housecleaning.

Sunday was all about bringing Liam home — a nine hour trip total, with a couple of hours to pack and hang around at his campus. Then we got food in town to bring home — twice in two days we have done take out — that is so rare nowadays as to be almost unheard of, but yesterday was for Mother’s Day and the day before was to celebrate Kevin’s home-coming.

was busy, too — Clare had violin and choir practice, and the boys had to get to church early for altar server training.

Friday was busy too — first homeschool meeting, then picking Kevin up at the airport 60 miles away — he got in late, so we didn’t get home till almost midnight.

Kevin’s business trip went well — he is a freelance computer game programmer and the new set-up will allow him a budget for development costs. This is good for his business. So good it’s taking a while to sink in. He is going to have to spend a couple of weeks doing various upgrades. Among other things, for our family it means a regular paycheck (though he will still be freelance; he didn’t trade anything off for the advantage). Regular paychecks are nice. There are lots of maintenance issues around the house that can now be addressed. There is a bit of ambivalence, though. Sigh… when we had more money, it was easy to think we “needed” things that later, it turned out we didn’t. We did fine without them. I am unhappy about the way increased affluence creates artificial needs. You don’t really get more comfortable, you just have more things around that you are uncomfortable in spite of. Just thinking aloud — and pondering how we can steer the balance.

I have been reading a book called Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology. — about a couple that spent a year with a sort of Amish-like group who were off the electricity grid. IT reminded me just a bit of Crunchy Cons in that the couple were Catholic and urban folk — one was a college teacher and one was an accountant, I think. Anyway, it was an interesting book. Here a bit of what he’s been doing since: The Simpler Life Redux.

The other book I read yesterday was The Atkins Diet (new and improved version). 10 cent find at the library sale. I always read a new diet or exercise book when I know I need to make some changes. Right now, I am about 15 pounds from where I feel most comfortable and on my ectoderm frame there just isn’t enough muscle to support that. Plus, my blood sugar swings get worse every year. Atkins is way too severe for me. I don’t need a 20 carb diet. But when I looked up the negatives online, there weren’t as many as I expected. From what I see, there is real evidence that blood sugar swings caused by eating refined sugars and carbs are associated with fatigue, cravings and weight gain, and some studies to show that low-carb diets (or rather, healthy balanced diets with moderate use of “good carbs”) are more effective in weight loss AND other health issues than low-fat diets where the quality of the carbs is not taken into account. Then there is evidence the other way… sigh. But anyway, I tried to limit carbs (not cut them out) yesterday and I didn’t have the blood sugar drops and I immediately started craving vegetables, which usually I can barely get down — probably needing the fiber, come to think of it.