Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas!

WOW! What a busy Christmas vacation we have had! I have enjoyed every minute of it. First my daughter flew in from Utah, the next day my oldest son drove down from Tennessee, and the next day, my mom and dad drove in from Florida. It was so nice to have everyone together again.

Yesterday, my mom and dad left, and my son went back to Tennessee because he had to work today. I miss having all the family together, but am sure grateful for the week we had. In less than a week, my daughter will be back out at school, and my two younger sons will be back in high school, and all will be back to normal around here :(

Friday, December 18, 2009

Acai Juice

In August my husband and I were at Sam's and I noticed in the refrigerated section Acai juice. I quickly opened the door and started examining it. I noticed the price and slowly started to put it back until these words caught my eye, "Supports Healthy: energy levels, weight control, skin, hair and nails, antioxidant levels." I had heard about this juice from Doctor Oz, and wondered where I could get it...and here it was--at Sams! But also at a very high price. Then I got to thinking, this is not like a juice, but more like a vitamin, and so decided to try it. I mainly bought it for the antioxidants and hair health. Now that I've been walking, my energy levels are great, and as far as weight control goes, nothing has ever worked, and so I was not getting my hopes up on this.

Each day with my breakfast I pour me about 1/2 to 1 cup of the juice and sip it throughout the day. It is pretty strong and not sweet at all. At first, I just thought it was ok. I started to drink it with crushed ice which mellowed the flavor a bit. In a couple of days, the flavor was actually good--I had aquired a taste to it. Within about 4 weeks or so, I had lost 7 lbs!

I mentioned the juice to my walking buddies and everyone seemed interested. The next day one of the Walker's told me that her son had called about the juice and wanted to try it. He heard it was very healthy, and he is one of those health nuts. He too thought it was pricey, but bought it anyway. He noticed within a few days that his energy levels had increased and was hooked.

A few weeks after I had lost the 7 lbs, my walking buddies and I were at a party. A mutual friend of ours who is a nutritionist was also at the party. One of the Walker's had told her about my Acai story and the weight loss. She did not agree with the claim, and said it was just probably coincidence. She went on to say that just good old fashioned "not eating so much and exercise" was the only way to loose any weight. I agree to a point, but I've done that, and the only way I've been able to loose weight and keep it off it to not eat at all...and this is not healthy.

When Thanksgiving vacation rolled around, we headed off to Tennessee to visit my in-laws. I decided not to drink it since there were going to be a lot of people there and I know a lot of the kids really like juice. I figured it would get drunk up in a matter of seconds. When we got back from TN, I had my annual physical and a bunch of lab work coming up and was told not to take any vitamins, etc. and that included the Acai juice. So, for about 3 weeks or so I did not drink any of the juice. My eating habits did not change--even with the Thanksgiving--I pretty much ate as normal. I noticed I had gain much of the weight back...ugggg!

Well, as of last week, my lab work was complete, and I was back on the Acai juice. Guess what? I am loosing again. And again, my eating habits are pretty much the same...maybe a little more holiday stuff, but I'm not going that crazy. I'm trying to be careful. Also, it has been so cold and the Walker's so busy with Christmas and family, that we have not been able to walk everyday...and the weight is dropping. So, coincidence or is there actually something to this Acai juice?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Copyright Laws

Laws are for our protection. We have traffic and seat belt laws to keep us safe in case of a wreck. We have laws against armed robbery or breaking and entering to keep our families and possessions safe. There are also silly laws like one in Indiana: "Baths may not be taken between the months of October and March," or in Louisiana, "You may not tie an alligator to a fire hydrant." I can't tell you why these are on the books, but I suppose when they were passed, there was a good reason.

I grew up with two sisters. The three of us danced pretty much our whole lives--up through college years, and two of us continue to be a little involved as adults. My daughter, who is away at a major university has also grown up dancing. In fact, she is majoring in dance, and is on a team that I was on while majoring in dance at this same university. Twenty-seven years ago, when I was dancing on this same team, there were no video cameras to tape the shows we did so that we could reminisce in future years. I've always been sadden by this. I have many pictures, but no video of any of my dancing years. My daughter, on the other hand, has her own video camera, and has taped many of the pieces she has been in. Now that she is many miles away, I am so happy that I am able to see her dances through video. I may not be able to be there, but eventually I can see her talent growing.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of a show that her dance group has done through the years. They have invited all alumni to be a part of the show. Since I am an alumni of the team, I entertained the thought of going--but, with responsibilities at home, it was just not possible. I figured, well, I know I can't be there, but she will have a video of it, and I can enjoy the show when she brings it to me over the Christmas holidays (like she did last year with last year's show). Well, this is not going to happen. I just found out last night, that they will not be filming at all. Usually, they film, and broadcast it on the university's TV station (which through satellite I am able to watch). I was really looking forward to that.

So, why, you may be asking yourself, are they not taping the show? It is because of the copyright laws. Now, don't get the wrong idea. I do believe in copyright laws. I do believe that when one tapes a movie to avoid buying it, it is stealing. I also believe that when one downloads or copies a song without paying for it, it is also stealing. One other thing that has always irritated me, is when one writes a report for school and actually copies it from someone's work...this is also stealing. The laws have really gotten out of hand, though. It is getting to a point, that our little girls will not be able to be in a dance recital to any music because of these same copyright laws.

I remember when my daughter would find out what song they were going to be learning their new dance for recital or competitions. Many times, we had never heard of the song, and upon inquiring who the artist was, more times than not, we would go and purchase the CD. My daughter not only likes to dance, but she likes to put together montages of pictures and videos. She put one together for my 50th birthday. Many of her dance pieces and video montages are on youtube. Because of the copyright laws, they have taken many videos off, or like in the case of my 50th birthday video, changed the song. The song they put on does not even make since. My daughter always puts things together with the song. She also gives credit to the artist in her credits. In some of her work, she has used songs that are not popular, and many have made positive comments on the song and wanted to know who it was, so that they too could purchase the CD. To me, using these songs for dances in recitals, competitions, shows, etc. is like free advertisement for many artists.

In closing, I would like to say that I hope that many of these artists realize how important their music is to the dance world. How are the dancers suppose to express themselves without music? Music is so much a part of all of our lives, and I feel that the copyright laws need to be changed. There needs to be a compromise...