Sunday, March 14, 2010

Facebook Parents

There's a new fanpage on Facebook: I was gonna post a status, Then I remembered I have family on faceboook.

This is pretty amusing, because there are so many kids and parents on Facebook these days, and their interactions then become public! I saw two very funny ones last week between mothers and their kids at college.


College age son posts a photo of himself sitting in the snow in shorts and writes, "What to do with the whole campus to myself" or something similar.

Mom's response: "Okay, so why are you wearing shorts in the snow?"


College age daughter: " (Daughter) feels like death..waiting for cold medicine to work its magic!"

Mom's response: "Go to the doctor."

I can laugh at these things because my own kids are older now, but if they were still in college and I was on Facebook, I would most likely be like these parents! I can get away with an occasional comment or "LIKE" now, but they are 25 and 30 and not so bothered by it.

I've also seen some funny sibling exchanges like this one:

College age boy: "(Curse word) something . . . "

High school sister: "I'm going to tell dad!"

College age boy: "What's he gonna do? I'm here and he's there!"

Facebook is the ultimate reality show. You can peep in hundreds of people's lives including family members. No wonder it's so popular. I heard that Facebook has enough members to be the world's fourth largest country!

Kool Aid Shakes?

"1/2 PRICE Happy Hour Day & Night! All shakes & drinks weekdays 2-4 PM. And now 2-4 AM!" That's the latest on a page of coupons from Steak 'n Shake, a chain for which I used to have respect. But it goes on to advertise "New! Tropical Punch & Grape Kool-Aid Shakes" Can you think of anything worse than a Kool-Aid Shake? Does that in any way make you want to run to Steak n' Shake and get one?

It's not that I have anything against Kool-Aid. It was a perfectly fine child-drink for me, just like Tang (have you tasted that lately?). But then, we also ate Pixie Sticks, chewed plastic lips and mustaches, and ate the sugar buttons off the strips of paper. We even sold Kool-Aid on the sidewalk on hot days. Kool-Aid stands were the lemonade stands of rural Illinois in the 50s.

Back to shakes . . . isn't a shake made of ice cream and normal flavoring or maybe fruit? How does Kool-Aid, which is basically sugar and water and color, fit into that?

Perhaps worst of all, Steak 'n Shake is supposed to be an expert on real, creamy, hand-made shakes. It says right on their website: "Hand-dipped, real milk, and classic flavors, just like we've done it since 1934." By the way, Steak 'n Shake was founded in Normal, Illinois, just down the highway from my hometown!

In conclusion, a shake is a shake and Kool-Aid is Kool-Aid. You just cannot mix the two and expect people to like it. But if you do, go at 1/2 Price Happy Hour Day & Night!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Perfect Exercise

Swimming, I have decided, is the perfect form of exercise:

1. It is aerobic.
2. It stretches you all over.
3. It is relaxing (water therapy).
4. It strengthens almost every muscle in your body.
5. You come out cleaner than you went in.

When I moved here in the summer of 2009, I took up swimming for exercise. Our condo has a private pool that is hardly used and I had to give up a 28-year running habit due to bursitis in my hips and pelvis. So, when I started in June, I could barely swim a total of fifteen minutes. (If you haven't tried it, swimming is very physically demanding.) I gradually worked up my time to thirty minutes. When summer faded, I joined a nearby athletic club with a giant indoor heated pool just for lap swimming. Now I swim three times a week for about forty-five minutes, which is just over half a mile each time!

Now the best part of that is that my bursitis and occasional sciatica have virtually disappeared! I sleep better, have more energy, have more muscles, and am extremely clean with a hint of chlorine about me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies

It's that time of year again! Who doesn't like Girl Scout cookies? Nobody, that's who. Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Lemon Chalet Creams, or Trefoils--there's something for everyone. My personal favorites are Thin Mints (kept in the freezer, of course--I ate a whole stack of them just the other day) and Samoas (at 75 calories a cookie), with the peanut butter Do-Si-Dos coming in a close third. You can Meet the Cookies at this link.

When I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout myself, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the cookies were sold for fifty cents a box. I believe we took orders and then delivered them in a little cardboard "suitcase" with a handle. In those days, you could go door-to-door in your neighborhood and be perfectly safe. It helped if your mom or dad could sell a few boxes at their workplace, too.

Overseas, it worked differently. Tons of cookies were delivered to the various bases and then distributed for sale, sold outside the commissary, and so on. As an adult Brownie leader and a teacher, I had cases and cases and cases of them in my classroom closet. I sold them at lunch from my doorway (I now find out you're not supposed to do that, but, hey . . . ). Teenage boys would buy four boxes (they were up to $2.50/box then) and eat all of them for lunch! Our troop sold SO many cookies, we paid for a fieldtrip by train to Nuernberg!

I was honored to be asked to serve on the European Council of Girl Scouts for a few years. We met several times a year, and COOKIES were always on the agenda! They are a big part of what makes the Girl Scouts run camps and have programs for girls and leaders. I like the idea of selling something that everyone wants and then using that money to fund the organization.

Two years ago, the Sigonella (Italy) girl scouts were selling cookies outside the commissary. They were asking people if they wanted to donate boxes to send to soldiers in Iraq. I did, but I also made my own personal soldier, my daughter Alison, very popular with her fellow soldiers by sending her several boxes directly to Baghdad, Iraq via APO. She was one of the first to get Girl Scout cookies that year.

The cookies have been around for eighty years, and it seems no end is in sight for this American institution. I think I'll have one (or two) right now . . . . they are in the freezer.