Saturday, January 28, 2017

This is Hard

I do not even think I have the ability to maintain the format for the blog that I want to keep for this post. I have not posted all week and it is because every day another attack on what I believe to be American values has come from the highest office in the land and I am deeply concerned. I love this country and I love that we each have the freedom to express ourselves and be who we are without repercussion, but today that truly changed as immigrants from specific places were barred from entry... even if they had homes, families, jobs, and lives here.  

I do not know what else to say.

Please, contact your representatives in Congress... tell them to temper this man. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Monday Monday

It is chilly and dreary out and thus, it feels like a Monday. My cup of coffee is working to keep the chill off, but I wanted to share something that I found important while reading a book for class. 

According to Gordon Wood:

"The revolutionary generation was the most cosmopolitan of any in American history. The revolutionary leaders never intended to make a national revolution in any modern sense. They were patriots, to be sure, but they were not obsessed, as were later generations, with the unique character of America or with separating America from the course of Western civilization...And Americans prided themselves on their hospitality and their treatment of strangers. Such cosmopolitanism was a consequence of civilization." 
       -The Radicalism of the American Revolution

In Politics:

     I think it will be increasingly important over the next four years to remain vigilant over policy and government action, especially following such an unprecedented election. Today, the President signed more executive orders that will affect men and women not only in the United States, but around the world, potentially causing more problems between this county and some of its allies. 
First, the federal hiring freeze could hurt the VA Hospitals, Social Security, Medicaid, and many social programs men and women in this country in need depend on to survive, it is not a good sign and it is not where anyone with economic sense and not a specific austere agenda would cut first. Second, the President also signed an executive order to cease funding to any international organization that provides financial support for abortion, reviving a problematic and controversial directive under President Reagan from the 1980s...this can endanger the health and safety of women all over the world and aggravate allied countries.  In other political news, the Press Secretary held another briefing today and stated that he did not say when he said the day before, this again...does not bode well.

The Diet kind of went south today, not in a huge way... I did not devolve into a food mess and eat a pint of gelato, but dinner was not as healthy as it has been, I made home made pasta with a great red sauce that also included sausage (also known as not diet friendly). On the other hand, I have not had soda in a week now and I think I am pretty much good without it. I have settled on carbonated water and iced unsweet tea for my cold beverages and hot tea and coffee in the morning and evenings. I still drink beer, we all have to have our little treats.  I actually found my way to my treadmill today...since for some reason over the past three days it has been lost to me (not really, just no time) and I felt  a ton better after an hour of walking and watching the Masterpiece Elizabeth I mini-series they did years back... did I mention it has Tom Hardy in it (he is adorable, even in his scary Taboo phase he has going now). 

In The News:

Trump's Hiring Freeze of Federal Workers 

Trump Adopts Reagan Era Abortion Policy with Executive Order 

Problematic Peace Talks in Syria

Storm Deaths Reach 20 in the South

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ugh... Rain

It is very hard to start working out/hiking if it rains perpetually each day... just saying. 

I just got back from a coffee visit with an old friend who helps me maintain my sanity while working on my PhD, raising a toddler, finding time to breathe, and dealing with the current political climate. The hour or two we spend at Starbucks just gabbing about nothing in particular really does make the week go by a bit happier. 

In political news, so the Press Secretary Spicer thing is just super awkward and highly problematic. First, if the President did tell this guy to go out in front of the press, threaten them, and then proceed to create some fantastical tale about how Trumps sparsely attended Inauguration somehow was the most attended inauguration in history...then the stories of Trump being delusional are highly UNDERRATED. On the other hand, if this guy went out to the Press and fabricated that performance all by his lonesome, well then... he has NO business being in the job that he is in and I hope that the Trump administration or whoever actually makes decisions in that clown car fires him.  Daily conversations with the press or updates from the White House are an important part of the press/government relationship and there is some level of professionalism and honesty that just has to exist for that relationship to function and if on day one you just traipse out and start telling whoppers that might make the dad in Big Fish seem like an amateur the slight problem has now turned into a political disaster and at best just bad... at worst, an example of the willingness for an administration to spread falsehoods. 

I am hoping that the week goes better for the new President, but someone should really take his twitter away, because... its bad. 

On the Dinner front, tonight we did citrus baked chicken, roasted cauliflower, and a cucumber-onion salad made with vinegar and spices. I am getting into this healthy eating thing and have gone almost a week without a soda.  That being said, without coffee... I would die. Tomorrow I swear I am going to get some exercise done... this weather be damned.

In The News:

Deadly Tornados Hit the Southeast 

Taliban Take Credit for Bombing 

2016: Earth's Hottest Year 

They are Not Lies, They are Alternative Facts... NO

What Comes After the Women's March

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Freedom to Protest, Bad Weather, and a Good Dinner

Yesterday was a hard day. Donald Trump took the oath of office, immediately hurt potential homeowners, and is trying to place someone who helped defend the NC bathroom law into a Civil Rights position...these are not promising things to say the least. Members of the press, for good reasons, worry about their ability to report the news...the factual news that is, not inflated falsehoods just spread to promote a specific person's agenda.

Today though, over a million women, all over the world, in a number of cities...came together to illustrate that they cannot be silenced or deterred.  

Click here to see more photos of the women's march
Women marched in Pensacola, Fl... they marched in Paris, in London, in Zebulon, Georgia, and illustrated an undying hope to bring positive change to the world despite the United States now having a president who tends to disrespect anyone who is not himself. 

Oh... and on the fake news front... he is already off to a GREAT start...

He told the press, at a CIA meeting that he media is already lying about the crowds at his underwhelming inauguration and says that a million people attended 250,000 attended actually)

Sean Spicer, the new Press Secretary lies on his FIRST TRIP OUT in his job by saying it was the largest attended Inauguration ever.  How awful for this country.  

So the weather is working diligently to disallow me from pursuing my new hiking hobby and on my first full weekend off since the holidays, tornados and bad weather are infecting Georgia....even tomorrow... I swear its a conspiracy to keep me inside and wanting cake. That being said, I made a really healthy baked cod tonight with a side of roasted broccoli and cream peas.  I had a pretty good Sam Adams grapefruit IPA to go with it. As for the diet portion of this healthy living quest, I have really abstained from soda (had two diet sodas this week and that is like 80% less than usual) and I've cut down on fatty and bad for you foods. I have exercised, not as much as I liked, but I have had the FLU this week and that will cut down on exercise for anyone... more progress next week.

School work has been a bit slow today too...I am still reading Wood's The Radicalism of the American Revolution, which I need to finish tonight so I can work on the text for my European Intellectual history course and edit two conference papers...and write two guest lectures.  Who am I kidding, it may be stressy, but I love it. 

In The News Today:

Huge Crowds for the Women's March

Inaugural Speech Not Good For Conservative Agenda 

Prosecutors Getting Ready to Charge El Chapo 

What does Trump's Executive Order Against Obamacare Do?

The Washington Post:

Historic Rebuke of President Trump

Terrorist Attack in Pakistan Leaves Many Dead  

Deadly Tornado in Mississippi

Trump's Awkward Speech at CIA 

Thinking about doing a short weekly podcast that will accompany the blog, if you have any ideas... email me at The Fariequeene

Important News: January 21, 2017

In The New York Times Today:

 Trump's Inaugural Address was Chilling and Full of Falsehoods and Blame

The World Reacts to Trump's Scary Address

ISIS Destroys Historic Treasures

Women's March on Washington Today

Support a vibrant and free press, subscribe to the New York Times today

In The Washington Post Today:

Very Different Inauguration Address With Trump

Trump Immediately Moves to Help Gut ACA

Fact Checking Trump

Unrest in Gambia

Mattis Sworn in As Defense Secretary

Help Keep the Press Alive and Free: subscribe to the Washington Post

Other News Sites:

The Guardian

Mother Jones

The Associated Press

Nationalism Is Never a Good Thing

I am not going to turn my blog into a mindless political rant that no one appreciates or needs, but as a historian...the tone and rhetoric coming from our new President is worrisome and chilling.
Nationalism is never a good thing....
Nationalism and patriotism are not the same thing.
Nationalism ignores the rest of the world, the world we are an important part of.
It is dangerous and the words I saw yesterday were dangerous.

I will support a free and open press.
I will support the arts and humanities.
I will continue to help spread truth and not falsehood.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Healthy Check-In

I believe the biggest challenge to my healthy eating/living program involves my schedule and the fact that I do a 200 mile round trip commute half the week. That being said, I have not fallen off of goals and I've eaten pretty reasonably over the last week or so.
Adam and I are making a lot of our meals from scratch on the nights that we are home and saving the leftovers for the evenings that I get home from Atlanta and ready to binge eat everything in sight. 

Now, that being said... I did have an amazingly wonderful Grindhouse Burger yesterday, no shame.... I mean Heather and I walked like a mile total to go get it so that counts??!!  

Today I did a Spanish style omelette for lunch with some spiced olives, pepper flakes, and green was super tasty and not heavy on calories or bad stuff.  I am still cutting way back on soda and even though I vehemently drink coffee, I figure, that vice can stay.

I am also doing my daily walking even in the midst of a lot of projects and chores.... its nice out today so I think I will take Aiden outside for a bit after lunch and let him frolic outdoors while I read Morgan's American Slavery, American Freedom, which is an amazing book that I recommend if you are interested in Colonial American history. 

You can pick it up at Barnes and Noble or order it HERE 

On the knitting front, I am pretty skilled with my looms, but screw trying to do it with needles... maybe one day people... maybe one day.

Now.... how to convince the toddler to stop playing with legos and go outside....

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Back to the Real World

So, Vacation is over, we are back at home and work/school as well. Classes begin on the 10th, but I already am back at work at GSU (which I love doing) and doing school related things... like editing a paper I am presenting at a conference in February. 

The getting back in shape efforts have been going really well.
Yesterday I logged a little over four miles, today around three.  I ate pretty healthy (apart from the coconut cake my mother made me for my birthday) and felt great. 

For dinner we did a really nice and savory salad with some toasted bread that was awesome.

I used a butter lettuce mix
fresh radish
green onions
crumbled feta and some castlvetrano olives

For the dressing I used some aged balsamic vinegar and olive oil with fresh lemon juice and everything tasted fresh, tart, and amazing. 

I am not overweight or trying to become uber skinny, but at forty... I think it is the right time to get into a routine for my health and stick to it without making it drastic and unrealistic.

like... I have guinness and its amazing and its not going anywhere. 

But... taking on more active hobbies (the extension of hiking is happening), eating better, and just trying to overall live a more healthy life mentally and physically has really helped already. 

So here I am on day 2!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 The Next Step

For a lot of people, 2016 was a stressy year and most people are glad to see it go, on to 2017 and brighter days.
I am in the middle of my second year as a PhD Student, I have a vibrant and wonderful four year old, I turned forty and my husband and I have decided that it is time to get healthier. I am not starting from scratch, I walk/run two miles a day at least and I try to eat healthy, but the eat healthy part has waned significantly over the past year thanks to commuting to a city 88 miles away for school, working, and just getting by day to day. The plan, to clear out the house of bad food and start over... Fresh, healthy, no junk.  Does this mean you dont have a snack or treats no.... but it means trying to be healthier as I get older, get more energy, and teach this awesome little toddler to be healthy from the get go. 

Our chosen activity is hiking.  We have started out slow... using Christmas/ Birthday money for hiking gear and scoping out places that are not far from the house that we can explore with Aiden.  He loves the outdoors anyway.  

We started today with Rocky Bayou State Park

Rocky Bayou State Park                

In the park we walked two different mile long trails and enjoyed it.  4.5 miles later and we felt super refreshed, winded, but in a great mood.  So we are going to try to keep it up.