Well, we don't have Thanksgiving here, and Halloween is not such a big deal, maybe that's why the shops are full of Christmas stuff already.
I absolutely understand your view on environmental matters. Here in Germany we are big into recycling, but I think recycling alone doesn't cut it. For example, some years ago there was a refund introduced for the collecting of plastic bottles. Now many people use the plastic bottles "guilt free", so to say. But I wonder if all those bottles are really recycled, and into what? Wouldn't it be better to use glass bottles? I just looked it up on the Internet, and they say that a glass bottle can be washed and refilled up to 50 times. Lately, I have been buying my mineral water (necessary, we have got very bad tap water here) in glass bottles. A bit more taxing, as I haven't got a car, but possible as the supermarket is on the other side of the street, and I have a small shopping cart to transport the bottles. So I think avoiding plastic waste is even better than recycling it.
In the same vein, I try to use less plastic around the house. I stopped buying shower gel, shampoo bottles and liquid soap and use soap bars and a solid shampoo bar; I stopped buying liquid detergent in plastic bottles and use powdered detergent again. I make my skin creams myself and keep them in glass jars. I collect small glass jars and use them to store leftovers and have thrown out a lot of plastic containers. Only some of my favorite Tupperware items have survived the purge. It is not a lot, but I am pressed for money and cannot afford to go all green. But the few habits that I changed add up to a lot of plastic bottles that I do not use.
I didn't know about the channels and bridges and the big container ships from China. One more reason to avoid stuff that is imported from there. My main reason though are the terrible working conditions of the Chinese workers. Lately I saw a documentary on the Internet about the "journey of the jeans". The filmmakers looked at where the cheap jeans that you can buy here for about 10 € (12 $) come from. The people in the factories who produce them earn very little money and get exposed to toxins that are forbidden in the rest of the world. I think it must be the same with all cheap goods that come from China. We have a sort of "dollar shop" in our neighbourhood. As soon as I realized how much stuff is imported from China, I went there and looked at the items. Nearly every single piece there is "made in China"! A lot are cheapo plastic items which, as I also learned on the Internet, are often produced with toxic chemicals. Once you pay attention you can smell it too ...
Re the showering: I know that it used to be the way you describe. When I was a child, saturday was bathing day, and the rest of the time you just washed the strategic parts. But I grew up in a working class neighbourhood, and not everybody had a bath. Today I don't know anybody who doesn't shower everyday, myself included. Of course I keep it short to save water, and in an emergency like travelling or so I can go without my morning shower.
Did you enjoy your chocolate? After "sinning" lately with the nougat I bought a 35 g-bar of dark Lindt's and nibble on that from time to time. I can handle small quantities, I just mustn't go overboard.
Anne, are you still there?
Have a nice weekend!
Yes Bess most defintely still here. Just don't seem to have much free time to chat lately.
I wish it was just te alcohol I had drank. I am also guilty of having a few desserts on holiday and the odd chocolate!!
I have been too scared to get weighed, I forced myself on them yesterday and was 153lb so not much more than I was in the summer.
Ideally I think I would like to be about 140lb and a UK size 12 but just don't feel motivated at the moment. Think I must defintely be affected by the seasons. I can wear black skirts and black tights now.!!!!
I agree as I get older that the increasing commercialisation of Christmas is frustrating. I have forced myself to stop buying the kids cheap top up presents that they will never use. Read somewhere today that there had been a revolt at a Chinese factory due to the terrible working conditions. I am making do with the decorations I already have in and if I do top up will use hand crafted items. Though not made by me as I am far too impatient. I figure if I buy from craft fairs etc I am supporting the local economy. Every year I start to knit little Christmas stockings and give up after a few.
Do love Christmas though, not for the religious side of it I am afraid. It is just nice for us all to be off work/ school. Going on long walks, being able to go the gym most days, watching tv and I hate to say it I will defintely be having some chocolate. A nice break from all the stresses of modern day living.
Going to circuit training later as love the cameraderie(only a couple of us) actually while I am doing it not sure if I love it but I do love the group sense of achievement at the end.
Torrential rain all day here. Normally it dries up for a bit, but not today. Speak soon.
Anne, congratulations on staying the same weight despite some "guilty pleasures". Always look on the bright side ... (Do you know "Life of Brian"? I love Monty Python.) I weigh about fifty pounds more than you, and I can only agree that during the cold season it is much easier to hide some extra pounds. So you like to wear black? Me too!
I don't like Christmas very much. My daughter usually spends the holidays at her father's because he lives far away and she doesn't get to see that side of the family often. That leaves me in the role of the spinster aunt who sits under other peoples' Christmas trees, usually at my brother's with my niece and my nephews.
What are top up presents? Has it got to do with the British custom to put gifts in socks that children discover on the morning of the 25th? As you most likely know, here everybody gets their presents on Christmas eve, and they traditionally get put under the Christmas tree.
Good to hear that you have found some fun and motivation with you circuit training group. Ladies, I am celebrating a private sort of anniversary these days: I have been doing heavy lifting / strength training for nine months now, and in five minutes I'll be off for a lesson with a coach that will be my 100th training since I enrolled in the gym on the 18th December 2011!
Have a nice day / evening (here it's 18.15 p.m., a stormy day, and it's getting dark already)!
Ohhhh Crabbcakes, I am so jealous that you got to stay overnight at the zoo!! The Rainforest is one of my favorite places. I even took a date there once because it's so awesome. Jealous!!
[QUOTE=Bess58;961290]What are top up presents? Has it got to do with the British custom to put gifts in socks that children discover on the morning of the 25th? As you most likely know, here everybody gets their presents on Christmas eve, and they traditionally get put under the Christmas tree.
Good to hear that you have found some fun and motivation with you circuit training group. Ladies, I am celebrating a private sort of anniversary these days: I have been doing heavy lifting / strength training for nine months now, and in five minutes I'll be off for a lesson with a coach that will be my 100th training since I enrolled in the gym on the 18th December 2011![/QUOTE]
We have Christmas stockings, too, being seriously influenced by England in our history and all... It just isn't obligatory - I never had them growing up, Hubby always did, and now with the Crabblets it is hit or miss with the stockings, so they don't expect them like they do presents - they are just really excited when they do show up. Christmas presents are opened on the morning of the 25th in this house.
Re the 100th training session - WooHoo!! What are you going to do to celebrate?? Bloody steak and sauteed mushrooms?!?!
[QUOTE=Gravyboat;961318]Ohhhh Crabbcakes, I am so jealous that you got to stay overnight at the zoo!! The Rainforest is one of my favorite places. I even took a date there once because it's so awesome. Jealous!![/QUOTE]
Yeah, we loved the Rainforest, too - it was our first visit there (and our second to the Zoo), and I think I will build one just like it, orangs and fishing cats and all, and just live in a hammock strung up somewhere... (as soon as I hit the Jackpot on the MegaMillions or the Powerball!) Fourth was fascinated by the gharial (that smallish croc-mouthed toothy thing swimming in the tank across from the porcupines) and took lots of photos. First loved the mists and rain that came from the porcupine area - and I finally got to stare at a tarantula!
For unwanted excitement this morning, Third decided that it was a good day to faint - just completely fell to the floor, unconscious, shortly after I woke her up. So I called her off of school and ran her into the pediatrician, wondering what health issue she was cooking up already (fall and winter aren't her times of the year - she is frequently sick) - and it isn't even bad weather here yet (quite lovely fall so far).
Pediatrician said she was okay except for an upper-respiratory virus she had contracted, and even that wasn't bad. Hrmph. I hate it when she faints (she has done it semi-often in her little life). She even managed once to faint dead away while still sitting on the toilet with her pants down - although I know what that was about: she had gotten a bloody knee by falling down, but it got scraped UNDER her jeans and she didn't notice the blood until she had pulled off her pants to go to the bathroom, and once she saw the damage, her vagus nerve just couldn't take the sight of her own blood. (Yup - she faints at the sight of her blood - this is going to make menstruation a JOY when she finally starts.)
Gotta go - even though Third will be here at home recouping with Hubby, I still need to take the homeschool contingent to the library and swim...
Hey Bess - I will be returning from Germany just before Nikolaus, and this year my girls will be getting their shoes filled with candy direct from Deutschland!! (Yup - we have done Nikolaus every year with them, so even though they don't get Christmas stockings every year, they do get this!)
Hello ladies and all unknown readers,
I just got back from the gym, and I just have to post that here as I don't have a journal, and I think it doesn't qualify as a success story yet. As I said, I had a lesson with a coach, with whom I had gotten into an argument previously: He didn't believe me when I told him the weight that I was lifting on the machine for the abs (difficult to describe the machines; at my gym, they only have numbers and letters, but they are derived from the American Nautilus and MedX-machines) and said that I must be cheating on the form / technique. So I said that the only way to settle this was taking a coach lesson (is that the right word? It's a one-to-one training session with a coach), so he could watch me.
Well, he said several times over that he was "impressed" and that he had hardly ever seen a woman lifting that heavy. Ha, triumph! I have been really training hard, but generally nobody notices because I am still overweight (have been sitting at 210 pounds for years now, and nothing seems to budge the weight). But inside I feel so much stronger. To give you an impression: At the leg press (I think at least this machine is universal and exists in all gyms) I lift 180 pounds for each leg, so about 160 kgs in total. I'm celebrating with one (or two) glasses of dry white wine right now.
Crabbcakes, so sorry to hear about your daughter's latest misfortune. Let's hope that she will grow out of at least a part of her problems. My own daughter had so many health problems in her childhood: bad teeth, asthma, atopic dermatitis ... And today none of this bothers her anymore, although she may have inherited hemochromatosis from me. But this is very manageable (is that a word?) when it's diagnosed early in life.
Re: Nikolaus. We had a nice tradition in our family which I continued with my daughter. On St. Nikolaus' eve, we used to put out a dish of water and some carrots for Nikolaus' little donkey. And of course when we children woke up to see if Nikolaus left sweets in our shoes, the water had partially vanishend, and the carrots were visibly gnawed on ...
Yes, manageable is definitely a word.
Thanks for the wishes for Third. There are some days/weeks where she definitely could use the extra good karma.
Re the gym trainer - way to go showing him who knows her stuff!! My aunt likes Frankenweine - you know, the stuff in those Bocksbeutel bottles that is waaaaaaay dry - makes me pucker up all over.
Nikolaus - your water & carrots for the donkey is very similar to kids leaving out veggie sticks for the reindeer sometimes. Lots of folks leave out a glass of milk and a cookie for Santa. My SIL does one even better - she also bakes a Birthday Cake For Jesus. Seriously - every Christmas she bakes a birthday cake because (duh) Christmas is Jesus' birthday. I, personally, think that is way beyond hokey, but she has always done that.
The last few years over here at Christmastime, there has been a brouhaha because the poor, put-upon Christians in this country feel that we all aren't religious and Christian enough and start campaigns to boycott stores/businesses that don't say "Merry Christmas" SPECIFICALLY, but instead use as a verbal greeting/print cards/put up signage, etc. that says "Happy Holidays" instead in an attempt to be more inclusive to those who celebrate Kwanzaa/Eid al Fitr/Hanukkah/are atheist or whatever. It even has a name now: the Christmas Wars. My best friend is a fan of this - she happily rattles off the places of business she has shunned for the grave sin of not choosing her favored holiday greeting... and she actually goes into both places (those she leaves as well as those she chooses to frequent) and tells them that she is taking her business elsewhere/bringing her business in for this reason (and not bad service/product, which would be, to me, a legit reason). She, at least, doesn't try to get me to do the same thing.
I'm an atheist who was raised by an ex-Catholic, practising New Age/Spiritualist: Christmas is about food, family togetherness/traditions and trying not to spoil the little ones too much. I do the Father Christmas thing and, at some point, will try and teach our child about the various different flavours of Winter festival - made stranger by being in the Southern Hemisphere for the season. I love the romance of it all, the nostalgia and magic, but the commercialisation and pressure to spend drive me nuts.
Bess - that is immense. You mut have felt so proud proving to the trainer that you could lift heavy weights.
I lift the heaviest I have ever seen any woman in my gym do. However that is not saying much as have never seen a woman lift heavier than a couple of pounds.
I tend to do free weights rather than machines. I do squats with a 50ib bar, chest presses with 22ib each dumbbell and back dumbbell rows with 30lb dumbells.
I like the feeling lifting heavy weights gives me, though with doing circuits and Zumba so much I normally only do it once per week.
Crabbcakes - surprised at you saying about how some Christians try to influence shops etc. have heard people here moan that public bodies call Christmas -holiday festival etc so as not to upset minority groups, though that is all they do -moan.
Don't agree with people trying to force their religious beliefs on others though. Wish they would worry more about the starving millions more instead of shops having. Merry Christmas signs. I think everyone should be more tolerant and just chill.
We leave mince pie, glass of sherry and a carrot out for Father Christmas and the reindeers. Won't this year as the 9 year old now knows there is no Father Christmas. We don't have Christmas stockings in our house, though I know it is quite common in some households.
When I was young Father Christmas left a pillowcase at the end of our bed which we opened as soon as we woke.
I always leave my kids presents wrapped in separate gift paper in the lounge now and they open as soon as they wake up.
My kids all want money as there main present nowadays, even the 9 year old.
Agree with Badgergirl and no doubt the rest of you that it is about family togetherness etc.
Bess - felt sad when I read about your Christmas Day and calling yourself the spinster aunt. Think I would be tempted to pretend to everyone I was going somewhere else, lock the front door and have a Christmas binge of cheese, crackers and a big box of chocolates. With the addition of a couple of DVD's and a few gin and tonics.
I normally have to spend my Christmas cooking for various family members, we normally have about 7, including us 5 for Christmas dinner. Not being the best cook I find it very stressful, though enjoy myself from when I serves the dinner.