Friday, March 30, 2012

An Unusual Burger

By now, you’re probably familiar with the controversy surrounding the contents of our nation’s beef supply and the issue of meat additives. Meat processors vigorously defend the use of “lean trimmings” while their critics continue to rail against including “pink slime” in the ground beef meat mix.  

I’m still uncertain about who’s right, perhaps both sides have a case. What if adding “lean trimmings”/ “pink slime” to our ground beef simply sounds unappetizing, but not harmful? If that’s true, should loud objections disrupt beef processing and normal protocol at meat packing plants? They did.

Our daily food choices seem more cautious and conservative compared to folks abroad. See if you can imagine eating this:

If you decide to avoid meat that contains lean, finely textured beef additives, maybe you’ll try ice cream on those empty buns. Sometimes the most ordinary or the most unusual ideas become the year’s hottest, new trends.  If you were to (re)start a trend based on something you already do, what would it be?             

Friday, March 23, 2012

Drop It!

Have you ever picked up someone’s purse and it felt as heavy as a bag of rocks? Why, many men ask, do woman carry so much stuff? I can’t speak for everyone, but I think people with hefty purses just like to be prepared—for everything and everybody.

My purse isn’t heavy because I carry outrageous items; I simply tote around the necessary and the mundane. Even light-weight items like tissues, hand sanitizer, lotion, coins, chap stick, assorted coupons, and keys add weight to a purse. When our kids were younger I had to catch myself to avoid inadvertently pulling out crayons to sign checks. While searching in her purse, one of my relatives pulled out those huge, colorful, plastic toy keys that toddlers jingle and suck on instead of grabbing the keys that could actually start her car. And if you think that’s bad, take a look at this:

The jury’s still out about whether that counted as an intervention. Notice how Bre neither needed nor used many of the items she toted around with her? The baggage she lugged around was beginning to take a physical toll on her body. Regardless of whether we carry a heavy purse or not, the point is: we all have individual habits, ideas, practices, emotions and personal rules that need purging. What kind of baggage are you carrying? 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Back from the Edge

Bravo to the horticulturists and garden enthusiasts who toil in the soil to cultivate beautiful annuals and perennials. I love flowers—the colors and the smells. I usually choose the independent kind. You know, the hardy plants that practically tell you when they need attention. A lack of water causes their leaves to droop and when it seems they won’t last another day, they surprise you by surviving for an entire week.  

Several months ago we bought a dried, shriveled up ball of brown stems called a dinosaur plant. It was a great kid’s birthday gift because even drastic dehydration couldn't make the plant look worse. According to the directions, as soon as the dinosaur plant received water it would snap back to life. You could let it shrivel up and revive it repeatedly, just by adding water. Now that’s my kind of plant! There’s something extra special about second chances. Listen to one man’s story:

If you’ve received a second chance, a do-over, then the million dollar question is: did it change you and how did it change your life?

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Tea and Coffee Debates

Regardless of which side you choose, I feel both parties deserve equal representation. Why does one side receive major media attention while the other is a blip on the scene.  Businesses play a major role in advancing this brand of favoritism because of where they spend their money. This isn’t about politics, it’s about beverages and society’s obvious preference for coffee over tea.

Companies actually redesign their product lines and buildings to offer a latte this and latte that rather than focusing on the green, white, chamomile, black, fruity, mint and the other delicious herbal teas. How often do you see commercials advertising tea? Not very often. Although I drink both, I tend to believe that tea is healthier than coffee since many teas contain antioxidants and assist the body in fighting everything from high blood pressure to cancer. So, given that we’re such a health conscious society, why does tea seem to play second fiddle to coffee?

Let’s consider a theory that points back to us. Don’t we reach for coffee to rev us up and put pep in our step? Coffee reflects our fast-paced lifestyle and our need for immediate gratification. We smell coffee long before we see it, its flavor is bold and robust and it gives us the quick energy jolt we seek. On the other hand, we associate tea with illness and it’s the drink of choice when we’re feeling reflective and slowing-down to savor a moment. Listen to how these people feel about tea and coffee:

Aha, see there? I imagine they went a little deeper than you expected. I think the coffee vs. tea debate is a comment on our lifestyles. We live in a don’t-make-me-wait-‘cause- I-gotta-go-out-and-get culture. Settle down, enjoy a cup of tea. They say good things come to those who wait, I say anticipation is part of the journey. Tell us, who or what are you waiting for?                               

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wrap it Up

Have you encountered product lock-down? It occurs when you purchase a product, take it home and discover that the manufacturer played a bad joke on you by packaging the product so securely that you can’t open it. The worst packages require the use of tools, bare hands just won’t do.

Buy a child’s toy and you’ll struggle with the fused plastics that companies use to hermetically seal in their trucks and dolls. Those plastic edges are dangerous!  The packages ought to come with warnings because there’s a strong possibility you’ll emerge from the ordeal bruised and bloodied. Opening jars can be difficult, too. Why does it take the strength of four hands or warm water trickled over a lid to open a jar?  Earlier this week I almost strained a muscle trying to open a package of crackers. Some things should not be.

Here’s my solution to the problem: manufacturers should package everything in bubble wrap.  It’s easy to open, keeps products safe, has multiple uses and provides unlimited entertainment.  Do you need proof of bubble wrap’s popularity? Someone chose January 31 as National Bubble Wrap Day and if you check on Facebook, you’ll see that a number of people think bubble wrap is awesome. It even has its own page. Go ahead, “friend” it, you know you want to. Check out something else that’s awesome:

I’m sure you already know many interesting ways to use bubble wrap. If you could bubble wrap something (or someone) precious in your life, who or what would it be and why?