Every morning when I wake up, I need some sort of motivation to get out of bed. It’s Dog Days. People are acting crazy. This business in Syria is disturbing, to say the least. Our local scene is depressing – it’s hard to live in a town where an elite class make completely dis-connected salaries while the rest of us live on a quarter or less of what we pay our public “servants.” Going to the grocery store, trying to shop for school supplies – all in competition with people who make three, four, five times my family’s income, that’s a downer. I looked at an office chair for my son for his upcoming birthday, and the crappiest ones were around $200. I had to ask myself – what do they pay for those Captain Kirk chairs they use down at City Hall? That kind of thinking can really wear a person down.
It really helps to get up early, make time for yourself to put on a good attitude. The sky is fabulous at 5am. Orion is still visible, just making his descent into the South. Right behind him comes Jupiter, which shines like a faraway flashlight, announcing the arrival of the sun. This morning, sitting on my patio with a cup of cheap coffee, I watched a few very spectacular shooting stars skitter across the darkness like rocks across a pond. As the sky lightened, puffy cumulus clouds rolled in like batting being pulled across a sewing table. They passed quickly, but on the eastern horizon, the late Summer thunderheads lined up in phalanx – I wondered what the weather over Lake Almanor will look like today. The little birds began to titter, a solitary crow flew toward Bidwell Park, and I suddenly became aware of the freeway, roaring to life. At this point I drained the last drop of my coffee and went inside to start the day.
My sons started classes at Butte College recently, and now my morning meanderings are interrupted by the sound of my younger son’s alarm clock – like a nest of baby birds, it always makes me wonder – “what the hell is that?” Then I hear him fumble with the switch – “slap!” And the work day begins. This is where motivation comes in. I notice, during Summer, when my son wants to go somewhere, take an early bike ride in the park, etc, he wakes himself up just like that. For school, he needs the alarm clock – I can so relate. I appreciate his good attitude, so I try to help. I know how it is in the morning when your blood sugar is in your toes. Those Snickers commercials are right on – I really do feel like Betty White in the morning, 150 years old, not to lively on my feet. I need a pick me up.
We let this melon go a little long, it got kind of mushy, but tasted great. Especially in smoothies. I still have about half dozen gallon bags of halved peaches in my freezer, and I buy bananas cheap at Wal Mart and freeze them in sections. The bananas nearly turn to sugar this way, sometimes getting a little brown, but taste great. They add a real creamy texture, add body.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get as much peach juice this year, that’s already gone. But, we did get a pretty nice little pile of Fuji apples, which I’ve saved in bags in my refrigerator. They are great for eating, but I like to make fresh apple juice too.
I get a kick out of that new Metamucil commercial that makes fun of Good Diet. Yes, it’s true, an apple a day, and, now we know, a spoonful of yogurt with active cultures, is better than drinking a glass of sand water and staying close to a toilet all morning. I’ll never forget my friend, who took a dose at night, and when it didn’t work fast enough, took another dose the next morning. Then went jogging. Yeah, that’s what happened all right.
Lately I’ve been adding protein powder – my favorite, Spirutein – to make it a more complete “meal.” This way, I can make it until later, most mornings, without craving bacon and eggs. And, it’s a nice extra for my kid, who is never hungry in the morning, just wants sugar. According to my science guru, David Pogue, of NOVA Science NOW, the brain needs a cup of sugar a day, minimum, to function properly. The brain doesn’t care what kind of sugar, it’s the rest of our body that suffers from the effects of “bad sugar“. As far as the average teenager is concerned, there is no such thing as “bad sugar”. I try to put some good food choices in front of him, but now that he’s 18 and has a car, he waits until Mom is passed out at 10 pm and calls his older brother to make a late night run on Crispy Creme. I love children.
But, he likes the Spirutein – in flavors like “Cookies and Cream,” “Double Fudge” and “Strawberry Shortcake”, how can he resist? Yes, it’s sweetened, but I’m over that. In my family, we had a sugar bowl on the table, full, for every meal, and my grandfather, who figured he worked for the right, poured the damned thing over everything on his plate, encouraging us, flapping his dentures at us, to do same. When there was nothing else in the house, and the store was in CHICO, we mixed white sugar (my gramma had one of those bin drawers, it opened up with a tin liner to hold 10 pounds of the white stuff) with LARD (kept in a can next to the stove) and ate it out of a cup. Hey, that’s how they make bakery frosting, get over it.
So, I figure, if I get my kid to stick to fruit and sugar, I’ve made an improvement. We get up in the morning, and have our smoothie, he makes his sandwich on wheat bread, hold the mayo, and heads for school. Mission Accomplished.