Posts filed under 'fishies random thoughts'

On the Homefront - a look into the fishbowl

OLDIES BUT GOODIES!!

So, Christmas was a blast! We ate, we played, we rested… hubby was sick :(
Thankfully, not enough to ruin his Christmas.

Christmas morning we opened our gifts from one to another. Hubby and I typically get each of the children a new pair of pants, a new shirt and either a jacket, hoodie, sweatshirt or sweater to go over the shirt. (we like to layer) They also got the annual slippers and pajamas. Usually, The children will find new toothbrushes, floss, stocking hats or mittens (depending on the year) and chapstick or something like that among the candies in their stockings. We always say we are not buying the children any more toys, but end up getting them a few anyway.

This year was no different.

The guppies got some Hot Wheels cars, john deere tiny tractors and the girlie got a dolly. Sounds great, right?!!? Well, Trust me when I say, they still end up getting too many toys than they need,  the relatives typically give toys - and that is all I have to say …. hahaha!

Within a few hours of opening gifts, we found all the new toys under the tree and my children have brought into the living room, the old wooden train set, the old Lincoln Logs set and an old car street kind of set. They have had these toys for about 3-4 years… and yet… these are the favorites.

Last night as I sat here knitting a pair of slippers for myself *blush* and sipping a cup of hot peppermint/spearmint tea… I thought about how quaint the scene was.

My husband and 8 yr old guppy were busy in the dining room building things with the 2 year old- found at a rumage sale -erector set, my 5 year old guppies were busily setting up and playing with the wooden train (again an old rumage sale find) and Lincoln Logs making a little town, Christmas songs were playing on the radio and it was so peaceful that I lost count in my knitting.

Toss in a little candlelight and I imagine I woulda cried, it was so much like how I imagine an old fashioned Christmas would have looked.  I think I love those old toys as much as my children ;)

ahhh, the simple things in life.


Add comment December 29, 2008

Frugal vs Foolish- Can you live on $1?

I watched this really interesting little video and it really got me thinking.

With the economy going the way it is, many are trying to find ways to cut corners, to make ends meet and simply live on less. Could I live on a dollar a day grocery allotment?

If you watch the video, you find that the couple really felt they were losing health on their chosen restricted budget in order to experiment with food cost. I mean seriously… drinking Tang with the hopes of preventing scurvy! WOW, that is bravery.

However, all funny’s aside - this video just makes me a little more determined. For example, If a person were to grow a garden and learn to preserve/store their goods to last through the winter…I don’t think it would be that difficult to live healthy on a shoestring budget. Ok, maybe not a dollar a day- since we do have some “special diet” needs but considerably less.

I know at our home, we do eat a lot of rice and beans (the video’s dinner mainstay) but we enjoy it and it is frugal, but we also add either tomatoes to it, or serve it with vegetables.  The lunch of homemade bread (I am an advocate of home baked goodies, for sure!) with peanut butter is really not a bad lunch when paired with a piece of fruit and Quite honestly oatmeal for breakfast is Awesome!

So, do you think you could live on the $1.00 a day with the exception of home preserved veggies and fruit?

Tell us what you think.


Add comment December 14, 2008

Taking it back

I was thinking the other day about how we live versus the economy. No, this is not a political article, although I could very easily “go there”, I won’t bore you today…. I will save that for later :)

I was thinking about how laid back things are here at the fishbowl and yet, how freaked-out the economy is. Isn’t it a bit odd how some people are not that concerned and yet others are stressed over the dow industrial average on a daily basis? I personally, don’t stress much over it.

Sure, I think about things like… wonder if I can bring my garden indoors this winter? How much extra Rice should I stock up on, just in case?  Should I use part of my tax return to purchase more than one share at Easy Bean Farm this year and get some in the freezer? Think we can build a wind turbine as a winter project? Can we replicate the olive oil lamps I saw at Lehmans and if yes, how expensive would the oil be for evenings for a year?

Suddenly it hit me like a dumbfounded duh moment…. it is almost like the economy crash is forcing people to “take thier lives back”. I could be completely off the wall here, but this is what I was thinking. It seems that we, as a nation, have become so involved with consumerism, that we have even given up our lives for it.

Bear with me here… How many families work 2 jobs or more just to make ends meet? Think about this for a moment… what if, just what if, one person were to stay at home and tend the garden, make oil lamps, soap, candles and the like, just like our forefathers, but with modern convieniances of course? Would the family then need a second or third job? I am not saying we need to all become like the Amish, but they sure have a good head start on living within their means. Just think of all the “family time” they have as they learn, plant, plan and grow together. WOW.

As a homeschooling mom, I think about things like this and plan to teach my children to live a bit more frugally so that they may enjoy thier lives and the people who are important to them. It is amazing the things you learn about your child, spouse and yes, even yourself while planting a garden together. The best part is seeing the child’s face light up with each new discovery… like, “our compost turned into THIS dirt?!”

simply ….  priceless

I think Healthyfishies is going to start sharing these moments more. A lot of people seem scared and freaked-out, but there is hope, there is a future and a plan and it is good!

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Add comment October 29, 2008

Bottled Water Controversy

I was reading some news today on Yahoo! and found an interesting little tidbit staring back at me.

I drink bottled “distilled” water and use distilled water in my home for cooking and such. Some would be appalled at the thought of using plastic containers of water and I admit, sometimes I struggle with the eco-friendliness of that decision a bit myself… however, when weighing the choices of tapwater vs distilled in plastic, my brain decided distilled was worth it.

That said… let’s get back to the article I read.

I have always heard people (naysayers) suggesting that bottle water was a scam. I could never agree with them wholeheartedly and at times questioned the quality of bottled water myself. (Please remember my preference though towards distilled over even bottled water) I just could not bring myself to believe that business would stoop that low to use their very own tap water when bottling water for the public.

Now, why is it that people believe bottled water would be more “safe” than tap water? I don’t know, but we do. Why do we sometimes believe the company would have our best interests at heart instead of the dollar? I don’t know - but again, we do. It just seems that we like to take people at their word and trust that they wouldn’t do anything to hurt us, until we find otherwise. Most of us like to believe the best of people instead of dwelling in mistrust– until something like this is discovered…. Bottled Water has contaminants too

Shocking?

Disappointing?

Sadly, yes. Especially when one of these contaminated waters is “Sam’s Choice by Walmart” - yep, the same WAL-MART that has been carrying more Organic groceries the last few years. Get that?

The study tested 10 different waters, 8 of the 10 did not have enough contaminants to warrant further testing, however 2 were above the safety levels; Walmart and Acadia of Giant Food Supermarkets. They had the highest concentration of chlorine byproducts, known as trihalomethanes. The researchers also said the Wal-Mart brand was five times California’s limit for one particular chlorine byproduct, bromodichloromethane.

The most troubling part of the article was “The study’s lab tests on 10 brands of bottled water detected 38 chemicals including bacteria, caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic-making chemicals and the radioactive element strontium.”

So, tell me… was the organic/ natural push just a huge ploy on Walmarts part or are they innocent in delivering the contaminated garbage in a bottle?

This is just another good reason to buy local, ethical, sustainable and organic. Sorry Walmart, I am just not drinking your “kool-aid”or your water.

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1 comment October 15, 2008

Mercury in my lightbulb

Something that I have been pondering for quite some time is “how safe is the Mercury in my new safe lightbulbs”?

The question led me down a road that was certainly shocking if not appalling!

Ok, so we are going to be mandated very soon to stop using the ‘traditional’ light bulbs in favor of the more eco-friendly lightbulb. While that is all good - it is great to be more eco-conscious and I am all in favor of saving us little peeps money on our electric bill … but —ummm, they seem to have forgotten a few “tiny” details…

Allow me to explain a bit:

First of all, is the mercury in these little bulbs Safe? What good is a bunch of mercury in our landfills? It is not safe in our lakes and fish…. What happens when a bulb breaks in your home releasing mercury into your environment, into the very air you breathe? The truth please!! It is NOT SAFE at all. These bulbs contain mercury!!

Did you know that if you break a bulb you must turn off the heat or air and you and your beloveds (pets included) must leave your home for at least 15 minutes!!  Does this seem safe to you? This site will give you a list of what to do in case of breakage EPA Spills. My question is how can something green contain a “toxic” ingredient? I found another interesting article on what happens when you throw one of these little “toxic bombs” away. You might find it interesting as well. Live Science Why are we, as consumers, not being informed of this? Oh wait, a few news stories have been published… thank you MSN for raising a few eyebrows. I just feel that we as consumers have a right to know the COST of something designed to SAVE. I am surprised more environmental bloggers aren’t outraged over this unsafe bulb. We gotta let people know the truth! They are not safe!

Here is an interesting YouTube video:

On yet another note… Do you know where these lightbulbs are made? ONLY IN CHINA!! This is just great for the american economy isn’t it?

These CFL bulbs are Government mandated and only one country in the world manufactures them: no, it’s not the US, it is China.

Why wouldn’t our government do it’s research before mandating our bulbs? It would have been just as simple to promote an American made product to help assist our economy and keep us safe… that product is the LED bulb. Made safe, made in America.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with trade, but when the economy is the way it is, doesn’t it just make sense to promote, mandate and believe in something made in your own country? Makes cents to me.

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Add comment October 13, 2008

it’s a bit gassy ’round here

Tuesday, 09 September 2008 04:11   written by guest writer: Mike
” These rising gas prices are affecting everyone. You may argue with me, but I’m right. More than 63% of people in the United States now feel that these increasing prices are putting financial strain on their household, and I can see why. Many people rely on their cars for work and as a result of this run up quite a few miles.

Oil. What a joke. It’s stupid that we continue to use it even though it’s so expensive and it’s polluting the earth. If you ask me we should just bite the bullet and convert to something like hydrogen fuel.

Hydrogen. What a dude of a fuel. It’s extracted from water, and the waste gas is water vapor. No dirty carbon dioxide or deadly carbon monoxide, just water. Pure and simple. I must say, though, it does need a lot of electricity to be separated from oxygen in water. This brings me onto power plants.

Power plants are the other main cause of the greenhouse effect. Still over half of power stations in the US use coal. I think people who actually want to help the environment should install solar panels or wind turbines on their houses. Sure, the initial cost of these are a bit expensive, but think about it - this means FREE ELECTRICITY FOREVER. Well, at least for a long, long time until they need to be updated. Also the prices for these are falling, dramatically.

So if you want to do the world (and your wallet) some good, then my advice is this - convert your car to a more economic and environmentally friendly fuel supply and install solar panels or wind turbines on your house. Sure, the initial cost will be high, but the savings made will definitely compensate, and even save you money in the long run. “

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Add comment October 13, 2008

Please Allow me to butter you up

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 21:44
Pass The Butter, please.

This is interesting . . The blue part of this article is one of those things I have been searching for… I heard this some time ago but was unable to remember where i found it.Now that I have, I wanted to share it along with the results of my “digging” - ENJOY- LOL!!

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings.

DO YOU KNOW.. the difference between margarine and butter?
Read on to the end…gets very interesting!
Both have the same amount of calories.
Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams..
Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few
only because they are added!

Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

And now, for Margarine..

Very high in trans fatty acids.
Triple risk of coronary heart disease.
Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
Increases the risk of cancers up to five fold.
Lowers quality of breast milk.
Decreases immune response.
Decreases insulin response.

And here’s the most disturbing fact….. HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC..
This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).
You can try this yourself:
Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things:
* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)
* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Share This With Your Friends…..(If you want to “butter them up”)!

After reading this I could believe it, but being the fishie that I am, I still wanted more facts, So, I started digging … in the digging I found information that margarine is used in placed of butter in many instances to “reduce” the saturated or animal fat a person consumes - especially in those cases of heart disease, in an attempt to eliminate the clogging of arteries.
BUT– in the process they found that the molecules used in making margarine that turns polyunsaturated oils into semi-solid margarine also creates trans fats. The artificial trans fats created by the hydrogenation process turns out to be just as bad (or worse) for our arteries as the saturated fats found in butter. The inflammation caused by the trans fats in margarine may also affect our immune systems and has been associated with increased rates of allergies and asthma.

There are some delicious and healthier alternatives to both butter and margarine. Here are some tips:

* Use olive oil, grape seed oil or canola oil in place of butter when you cook. Both of these oils have been shown to be good for your health and they stand up to high temperatures quite well. Neither of these oils contains saturated fats or trans fats.
* Instead of using butter or margarine on your white bread, try dipping some deliciously crusty whole grain bread into a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
* Top your baked potato with low calorie, anti-oxidant rich salsa. Don’t replace butter with sour cream. Sour cream contains saturated fats too.
* Replace the butter or margarine on your cooked green vegetables with olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
* Make your cinnamon toast better by using walnut oil instead of butter or margarine.
* Serve your banana nut bread with a dipping oil like walnut oil with a dash or two of cinnamon and nutmeg.
* Look for specially formulated spreads in your grocery store such as Benecol, which has just a trace of trans fats and has plant sterols which has been shown to actually help lower cholesterol.
* Use Clarified Butter in your cooking instead of butter. Clarified Butter separate the milk solids from the butter.

To Clarify Butter:
1 stick butter, heavy saucepan and 10 minutes.
1. In a heavy 1-quart saucepan, melt 8 ounces of butter over low heat.
2. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it has just about stopped crackling.
3. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Milk solids will settle to the bottom.
4. Strain the clear liquid into a container. Keeps well in the fridge for about a month.

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Add comment October 12, 2008

Only the Absolute Best

written: November 12, 2007
(things have changed just a bit since then… I like to look back every once in awhile)

When I first embarked on the journey of finding the best, I believed that if a conscience based choice could be made from the options available, a person would make the choice for the better, after all it is human nature to want the best, isn’t it? I didn’t factor in the apathy of the average person toward anything outside their own boxes of normal activity.

If I had a dollar bill for every gripe I have heard about the food industry, medical industry, or government - whether quality, price, value, service, or any other thing, I would be incredibly wealthy. If I had a dollar for every piece of journalism online or off relating to these enterprises I would again be an extremely wealthy person.

But instead of having dollar bills raining down on me from above, I have come across another revelation. I call it “apathetic Jimmy and apathetic Jane”. It’s an evolution of “don’t pass judgment” or “I’m ok, you’re ok” and without getting into the politics of the whole mess, I think it has proliferated society as a whole under the guise of “playing nice” humanity, and it has become an epidemic.

Under this principle, ordinary people aren’t inclined to think. They don’t have to, as it is simply not their fault. If Jimmy and Jane’s child doesn’t get breakfast, the government or another group steps in with a breakfast program at the child’s school. Jimmy and Jane only buy the car with the fancier upper class symbol “V”model, and then demand that the government intervene in the ever increasing price of petroleum based fuel. If Jimmy and Jane can’t find a certain brand of clothing because it was removed due to child labor, Jimmy and Jane throw a trantrum. If Jimmy and Jane’s child gets fat, they simply blame the government, fast food chains and of course, the media. If Jimmy and Jane can’t buy their child a certain toy due to a recall, Jimmy and Jane go for the next big thing. But do Jimmy or Jane ever do anything beyond “reactionary”?

Jimmy and Jane haven’t quite figured out that the action each of us takes, which path we choose, defines what happens next; that the way to make a difference is simply to behave differently. Instead Jimmy and Jane stand on the sidelines and complain while at the same time promoting and supporting the very subject of their complaint. To do otherwise would simply be “too forward”, radical, in your face, or simply not nice. No, don’t make any waves, and just go with the flow and complain more about how your very own choices are making you sick and the price tags keeps increasing. When will Jimmy and Jane learn they can control the cost and quality of the products they use?

I am tired of explaining things to the normal everyday Jimmy and Jane’s of the world online or off, only to hear sighs of how entirely “BORING” anything relating to the reality of the health and well being of individuals around them and how the chemicals in thier bathrooms are killing them. I am tired of sharing the “good news” of alternatives to the crap we are eating and having “blah blah blah” thrown back in my face. Seriously, why do I care?

If you think that the government is not giving you the whole truth, write them and demand changes. If you think that farmers have a raw deal, support them, and don’t support those that exploit them! If you think that the drug industry is making too many mistakes and risking our lives in a little pill, take it to your senator. If you think the foods you eat are making you sick, do something about it and change your buying habits. If you think that climate change is an issue - downsize your engine, get a more fuel efficient car, but don’t talk to me about it from your v8 or Hemi vehicle!
It is all a matter of supply and demand folks!!!

WHATEVER you do, please don’t say to me “I wish” or “if only” and then never choose take a step to begin changing it. I guess mainstream Americans and the like are lackadaisical, apathetic or just to “BORED” to pay attention. Oh I must not forget that ‘everything will be just fine’ or ‘everything will go away if I just pretend it doesn’t exist’. Keep the blinders on. Isn’t it that apathy that has gotten us where we are today?

Besides, anyone who deviates from the average in the general population is still labeled as a wierdo, hippie or radical.

The majority of people will speak up and support a fashionable cause in the comfort of their own little get togethers, especially if it has recently made the headlines. But ask them to put their money where their mouth is or do something, anything about it and they will never step up to the plate and break from the norm. Taking responsibility and making a change for the absolute best, means taking a serious look at your lifestyle you are living and until the day when ‘keeping up with the Jones’ includes being ethical or health conscious, it will continue to be ignored by the masses. Right now people are too busy trying to keep up with the “wealthy”, the rediculous “celebrity princesses” in the tabloid magazines or the “guru’s” on the internet to care.

You can make a difference, but only if you take off the blinders and begin to see.
Yes, You do have a choice, but are you willing to do something about it?

theresa fisher
of healthyfishies

www.healthyfishies.com

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Add comment October 10, 2008


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