Thursday, August 30, 2012

Disturbed.


That’s how I’m feeling this morning.  Really, since yesterday.  Since my doctor told me that I need to wean myself off coffee in order to assist in the treatment of my migraines.  WHAT?!  

Despair.  Utter despair.
Now, when I Googled “coffee health benefits” it produced many more sites with positive information than with negative information.  Apparently caffeine may raise your blood pressure, but this is not an issue for me.  Unless I am pregnant, and that’s not happening again.  I did find a funny statement that a lot of people who consume high levels of coffee also tend to be physically inactive and heavy smokers.  Um, okay.

According to medical research, regular coffee drinkers were less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, and dementia.  Also, those people in line at Starbucks may have a better chance of avoiding certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes.  Hmm, there seem to be a lot of benefits to this horrible thing my doctor likes to call coffee.


Taking a deeper look, it appears that I can reap the benefits of a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes by drinking decaf.  Apparently, it is the minerals and antioxidants in coffee, rather than the caffeine, which affect this disease.  Okay, doc, you win on that one.  Except that he wanted me to walk away from all coffee, not just caffeinated.  Wrongo, sir.

Aha!  Caffeine is the driving force behind the lower risk of developing Parkinson's.  Now, what I’m about to say may be rude, but admit it.  A lot of you are thinking it.  High quantities of caffeine can make you shaky.  And one of the visible symptoms of Parkinson’s is a tremor.  I don’t know why my crude brain is insisting upon linking the two, but perhaps it is to suggest that you might have to voluntarily accept a tremor to avoid an involuntary one.  Smack me.  Smack me now.  (I'm sooo sorry.)

I am a terrible insensitive person.
Moving on.  A 20-year study (wow, how does one maintain their attention span for that long?), showed that people who consumed three to five cups of coffee a day were 65% less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer's.  Yes!  This actually runs in my family.  I believe I would have an argument here, except, my grandfather, the most recent family member to have dementia, was a devoted coffee drinker.  Dang it.

This could actually solve a problem with boredom.
High coffee consumption can protect you from liver cancer and cirrhosis!  I wonder if this benefits to all the drinkers who take a heavy dose of coffee in the morning.  Maybe coffee acts as a filter for the alcohol.  Hmm.  That would be an interesting study to run.  I’d like to observe the drinking and antics, but I do not want to be around for the morning after.  No thank you very much.

Keep pouring...

I Googled “coffee migraines” and came up with several results that recommended the use of coffee to relieve a migraine, something I already know.  There was only one article which suggested that a person who regularly suffers from migraines should abstain from caffeine completely.   I understand the reason.  If I stop my intake of caffeine, when I do have a migraine, I will be able to treat it faster because it will be weaker to the immediate effects of the caffeine.  But I can’t help feeling sorry for myself because I love coffee. 




Will I stop drinking coffee completely?  No.  I’m going to wean myself off the caffeinated stuff and switch to decaf.  Yes, I know it still contains caffeine.  But in comparison to what I consume now, that’s a trace amount.  Mr. Perfect Doctor will just have to deal.  Or maybe I just won’t tell him.  After all, how can I possibly overlook the health benefits?  And, honestly, I would just miss it too much to do without the routine.  Before I can say goodbye to my old friend Caffeine, I will have to have one last rendezvous with Circle K's Bakery Blend.  It doesn't come in decaf.  And, I love it so.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Can't We All Just...Leave Me Alone?!

My husband, The Mayor, and I are very different. He has a need to make others happy, while I just have a need to be left alone until I choose otherwise.


I have no problem with The Mayor's decision on how he will live his life, as long as he doesn't expect me to change my behavior to suit him. And he does not. He understands that I don't have a need for a large circle of acquaintances, and I am perfectly happy with a couple of close friends. Sometimes I have friends who are very close and sometimes I don't. Because I choose not to have my friends picked for me, say by joining a club, I reserve the right to back away from a friendship without a vote having to take place. It's nice. If a friend is behaving like a chronic moron and is doing things that may effect how I am trying to raise my children, I don't have much space in my life for that friend anymore. My kids come first. My decision, no discussion, no voting.

This cat could be talking to you.
The Mayor belongs to a motorcycle club. The wives of most of the club members have their own club. The rank in their club has been determined by the rank in the real club. Much like how snooty military wives behave. I have also experienced this ridiculous behavior in my husband's job. Wives of higher "ranked" positions are higher "ranked" themselves. Yes, I agree. It is rank. I have no desire to participate in something so ridiculous. The motorcycle club wives have pestered my husband to tell me to participate in their group. They have a message board online and I should also be online getting to know them. No thanks. I'm good. I can't find a lot in common with women who don't mind being called certain names because they ride on the back of motorcycles and other derogatory terms.* I guess I have some respect for myself. I also won't be put in my place by someone I hardly know and didn't pick as a friend. I have a job, thanks, and a few bosses who have the right to tell me what to do. 

But without the smile.

I am lucky The Mayor understands my position and he has repeatedly told these women that I am too busy to be involved. That is a very civil way of handling it, but honestly, since these chicks don't seem to be getting the picture, I wish he would just say, "Look, she isn't like you, she doesn't want to get to know you, and she isn't interested in your little groupie group." Meanwhile, when I do see these women, because I do go to club events occasionally, they treat me like a pariah. As soon as I am gone, they are sweet as pie to The Mayor, asking when I will get on the dang message board and just get to know them already. Seriously. It is too bad I expected more from adults than I usually get. This does not make me regret my decision not to join a sorority when I was in college. I can see I missed nothing.

She's only 40.  Please.  Wear sunscreen.
Not to be misunderstood, I am not saying that all of the women involved in the group are people I would never be friends with. But when you get into a group mentality, people behave in ways they would not if they were acting independently. So, while I might like a couple of the women on their own, and out of motorcycle costume, I certainly will not allow myself to be lumped into a group of catty women, who believe their husband's rank is their own, no voting necessary.


Just remember this, while being part of a group is not a bad thing, retain your brain.

*This is my perception of how most of the public views the female position in the world of motorcycle clubs.  This is not how I believe my husband, or the guys in his club (which is a respectable, non-outlaw club), addresses women.  If I believed these guys did speak about women in this way, we would have a very serious issue.  The only reason this perception is mentioned, is because the motorcycle culture look is the same, regardless of the respectfulness of the club.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thank Goodness for the Digital Age

Did you know you, as a parent, have the ability to speak magic words which will spur your kids into a flurry of activity faster than a giant tube of Pixie Stix?  Yep.  Those words are:

"Be quiet for a minute.  I just want to watch this."

The moment those words leave your mouth, you wish you could reel them back in.  The children descend on you, flooding the room (if they weren't all there to begin with), asking asinine questions, arguing about ridiculous, petty things, dancing to tunes only they can hear...and it all happens in front of the television.  It doesn't matter if all you wanted to do was watch a 30-second news clip, see your favorite part of a movie, or hear a portion of a song with the captions on so you can finally figure out the lyrics.  It will now take you 10 minutes, at the very least, to accomplish that task.

Actually, it comes in a lot of cute colors and patterns now.

And, yet, we can't seem to keep ourselves from saying those magically devastating words.  They tumble right out of our mouths, even as we try desperately to shove them back in.  I can almost see the words flying through the air like a virus, injecting previously normal children with a jolt of obnoxiousness,  immediately causing chaos.  

So, I say, thank goodness for the digital age.  I still get annoyed.  I still have to tamp down my frustration over not being able to fulfill my desire immediately.  And this is something that comes with being a mother.  However, in this case, there is a savior.  And that is the pause button.  Oh, pause and rewind.  How I love you.  Even as I have to utilize you several times because despite how often this happens to me, I still have failed to wait until the virus has completely cleared the little monsters' systems before trying to watch that one little thing.  But, finally, the children see the determined glare in my eyes, they hear that last thread of patience in my voice and know I am about to snap, and they wisely disperse.  I press play and I am happy.  

Finally.

Until the next time I say those magically horrible words.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stranger Danger!

Since this is my first post, I thought I would just dive right in and address the paranoia which I am sure will pop up occasionally here...okay, it will rear its ugly head all the dang time.  I have a right to my paranoia, but I do manage to control my response to it.  Here's a good example of something that certainly could have ended with me in a padded cell:

The kidlets and I are at the local grocery store.  We live in a small, rural town, but we don't know everyone because our town attracts tourists and we weren't born and raised here.  My kids know not to speak to strangers and my son - he's almost five and has an imaginary friend named "Spider" - won't even make eye contact with most people.  The tow-head twosome and I were perusing the cereal when a man, fairly ordinary-looking, walked up.  This man, who was probably in his 50s, reached out and tousled my son's hair.  Seriously?!  I think my jaw almost hit the floor, I was that stunned.  I am used to being perturbed by morons who will try to strike up a conversation with my kidlets, but to touch one of them?  What could this idiot have been thinking?  He made some comment about when his own kids were that age, blah, blah, blah.

Only the vision of the store manager dragging me off this guy's limp and bloody body, beaten senseless (although how much sense did he have left to lose?) by me in front of my little guys, kept me from doing anything other than nodding at him and walking away with the kids.  I know a lot of people would shrug this off because the guy did it in front of me, the parent.  But, all the alarm bells are going off, as my paranoia fights its way to the surface.  Because, you see, my paranoia isn't that off-base.  A lot of molestations begin when a stranger inserts him or herself into a family's life, and grooms the children so thoroughly, those poor kids are hard pressed to explain when the abuse began.  And the poor parents, they never had a clue.  It virtually happened right in front of them.  The parents are looked at by society as bloomin' idiots, but really, they are victims, too, just not on the same level as the children.  I consider myself lucky.  My job has given me notice to be on the lookout for "funny business."  Does that mean nothing will ever happen to my family?  Nope.  But, I'll be damned if I don't do everything I can to make sure there are no gaps left for Sneaky Pete's or Sue's to slip through.

I would be perfectly fine with this.
Meanwhile, I bite my tongue every time a stranger, male or female (because you never know), young or old, makes contact with my kids.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the minute I open my mouth to protest their idiocy, even just to say, "Why are you talking to my children?  Don't you know how hard we work to make them understand that it isn't okay to talk to strangers?" I will lose control and end up in restraints, hoping a judge or jury will understand my momentary Mama Bear loss of sanity.