Monday, August 19, 2013

Smell of Clean Doesn't Happen Often

I will start out that I often tidy up the house, but rarely spend time deep cleaning. Yesterday was one day that I actually spent time CLEANING! What provoked this....well, hosting a meeting at my house last night may have been the kick in the pants I needed!

Two of my five kids were gone, and I hired a sitter for the others. She is great! She took them to the pool and then hung with them for a while watching movies and playing. I on the other hand got busy, pulling out the bucket of Clorox Wipes, Vinegar, rags, and a few other things. I started in one room, then jumped to another, then jumped to another, then realized I never finished in the first room and returned. I then tried to finish what I had left undone, but thought about this or that and continued cleaning in a disorderly fashion. After about 4 hours, I had the main level looking presentable and in a condition that those coming to my house would not need to get a tetenus booster.The best part was the smell. I do believe that besides fresh baked cookies and bread that a clean house is one of my favorite smells!

I then had to think about how to keep it clean...I had two hours until the meeting. I whisked the kids out to supper, drove around looking at fields of crops and then came home just in time to set out dessert and change clothes for my meeting... operation clean house... A success! 

After the meeting, I got to thinking  how I was going to keep the house clean for a long period of time and hide the "clean" smell. My family doesnt seem to notice clean, but they do smells. If they notice how the house looks as a result of smelling a clean house, they might think that it needs to be clean vs. tidy more often.  (Hmmmm. Maybe someone would " pass gas" or my 1 year old would get a dirty diaper.)

and then there was 12 hours later.... and reality hit....not tidy, not too clean. 

But it is a house that is a home to 5 kids and a happy family! I wouldn't change it for the world!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have to Share: Don't be Afraid to Speak Up

About 2 months ago a friend of mine shared a gluten free food delivery company with me, Taste Guru. I looked through the website and thought for the promo offer price that I would sign up for their monthly "sample" box. It looked like a good deal. Each month you got a box for a minimal fee filled with a variety of foods that are gluten free. ( I should take a moment to say that 4 out of the 7 of us in my house/family are gluten sensitive and I am always looking for tasty products.) I got my first box and was excited. Stuff that actually tasted good and was usable!

Well, then I got a "special offer" email and went back to their website. I did a bit more looking and noticed that one of the things they offered was menu/ recipe ideas. Then I saw it.... "Meatless Monday: Black Bean and Yam Enchiladas". I was done. I immediately closed my account. Now, you may say OVER REACTING. I see where you are coming from, BUT MEATLESS MONDAY is not something I support. I have no problem with meals with do not contain meat. Even I, a HUGE meat lover and firm believer in the need for a variety of meat in our diet, serves a meal now and then without meat in it. I have a problem with the initiave and the groups that promote Meatless Monday.

The vast majority of special interest groups behind not eating meat, do not have any health reasons behind the "movement". Many of them believe that all animals should not be used for food. That they should be raised to the same standards as people. One must realize that livestock are not petsnor are they people. They are born and breed for the purpose of providing food. They are treated very well. They are cared for and often provided with better medical care than we, farmers and ranchers, provide ourselves. Animal products are healthy for most to consume. Yes, some have medical reasons and are not able to. Animal products are also important to medicine, recreation, personal products, clothing, school supplies etc. Livestock, animal agriculture, is a VITAL part of the American economy, our food supply, and our national security!

So, back to Taste Guru. Deciding that they may not notice that I cancelled my membership, I decided to send them an email explain why I had cancelled. This is what I said, "Good Morning! I just wanted to send a note to let you know why I cancelled my monthly delivery. As I was looking through your site I noticed your support for Meatless Monday.Being that this is a movement supported by extreme animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the US and PETA ( who really care nothing about pet welfare, but want to eliminate all animal agriculture), I can not support your company either. I hope that you take this into consideration when selecting movements. Please do your research before jumping on the bandwagon. Meatless movements are not good for our health."

I figured, that I would hear nothing. So, when late the same night I received in response,"I'm sorry that you made the decision to cancel your account based on our article about "Meatless Monday". We never had intention to take one side or the other on anything but gluten free products and lifestyle. We did a Meatless Monday post because there is a lot gluten free people that order our boxes that are vegetarian and we were catering to them. We try and report as much of an open diet as we can. It's great that you feel that strongly about this and I commend your stance on this topic. I hope you understand that we had no intention to promote what PETA or the Humane Society does. We were only posting a wonderful recipe free of meat. Thanks for your concern and your email.", I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, I am not so sure that they really cared that I cancelled my deliveries. I understand that they have a variety of clientele. Some that probably are vegetarian for reasons that are founded in inaccuracies instead of need or even personal preference. But I will say that I found a small amount of comfort when they said they "had no intention to promote PETA or [what]the Humane Society does" and perhaps may have had them think about what they as a company promote vs. what they want to share. I hope that they think carefully before they pick a title for their posts.

Some may say they were being politcally correct and giving me a feel good answer. I hope I left them thinking, questioning, and wondering what they may be unintentionally supporting. If nothing else, they now know of connections that their heading has and I feel if nothing else, they have acknowledged awareness.

I ended my conversation with Taste Guru stating, "Thank you for responding! I do appreciate that Taste Guru is trying to provide ideas for meal planning. I just wish it would have been done under a different heading, as catchy as it is, it is a bad message. I respect peoples food choices and have no problems with the recipes offered, just the heading and the connections it has.
Katie Heger"

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Power of Positive Pressure

I continue to be amazed by the positive power of a little peer pressure. It seems like peer pressure is generally thought of as negative, but it can also do good! 

Over the last few days, my oldest son and a few friends decided that they really wanted a classmate to play football this year. The classmate had not played the previous year, nor played on their basketball team the past two years. Despite that, he attended several basketball games to cheer his friends on!
So, this group of boys went into action. On Saturday they talked to their friend and spent time with him at a local festival. They also talked to his mom and urged her to sign him up. Then, they kept on talking and talking and talking to him and with each other late into the night.  They. The one friend and the group of boys, talked Sunday while hanging at the lake. They even got a few others involved in the plan to get their friend to play. They knew that football practice is a lot of work and that their friend was worried about it, but they kept the talk light and focused on the fun parts! They even suggested that he just come and hang out to see what it was all about! 

And guess what..... Today, Monday, the first day of practice, he was there! He showed up, practiced, and plans to come back tomorrow! 

This is what sports, community and friendship is all about! I couldn't be prouder of all involved... My son, his friends who worked together and heir friend who showed up to play! It's going to be a great year!