ellen mcbee

She's always up to something…

My Work Ethic 0, Renovation Project FTW

I’ve actually had a couple of good days of researching…until yesterday.

I’ve made it through (and taken notes on) 9 of my projected 20 sources. And I just hung up a 5 x 3 foot bulletin board so I can put my notecards of ideas on it and watch them coalesce into a story. I’ve got the chronological cards and now I’m working on what I call “incident” cards–the ones that tell about incidents I think will be using in the plot.

The first card says “September 4, 1939: Over a thousand Poles are murdered by Nazis in Bydgoszcz, including dozens of Boy Scouts ages 12-16 who are lined up against a wall in the marketplace and shot.” Ugh. I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a depressing project; I’m no longer certain that I can really make it through this thing.

Anyway, what this has to do with the renovation project: yesterday I was all set to start working again, reading and notecards and so on. But instead my older two kids were home because school was closed for registration, and my younger one was out at noon. I thought we would be cleaning out their rooms and going through clothes and so forth after noon, but I honestly never got that far. I think it’s just having so many people in the house. Also, power tools.

Okay, time for another event card. Maybe someone will go on a picnic? Nah, I’m not that lucky!

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Other People’s Food Fads

I went to the grocery store to buy yogurt only to find that yogurt doesn’t come with aspartame anymore.  It comes with sugar–sometimes lots and lots of sugar. Enough sugar to sweeten a whole bowl of Frosted Flakes. Enough sugar to send me right over the edge of a hypoglycemic episode.  I’ve had sugar problems my whole life, to the point that I can’t even eat corn flakes. I avoid most sugars but especially high-fructose corn syrup, not because of any research on it but because that’s too much sugar for my body to handle.

I want my aspartame.

For all those people who are about to say “aspartame makes you fat” I would like to point out two things. First, I’m not using it to lose weight. I’m using it so that I can avoid the jitters, the crying, the cold sweat, the confusion, the migraines, and all those things that happen to me if I have too much sugar, especially if I have it early in the day. Those of you who have seen this know that I can’t raise a family on my own that way.  Hell, I can’t drive a car that way. Also, I would direct you to pictures of my family members at my age.  Comparatively, I’m skinny Minnie, so don’t judge my weight and say that clearly I’m having too many sugar substitutes. I’m not. I also don’t eat red meat or fried foods and I try my best to avoid processed foods.  So don’t act like you know what I want a sugar substitute for, because you don’t.

And for all those “clean eating” people who say that sugar is a “natural” product:  no, it isn’t. Sugar cane is cut by people who live in horrible conditions and are paid a pittance; sometimes it is still even done by hand. Then it goes to a mill where it’s cleaned, chopped up, processed, milled, filtered, evaporated, centrifuged, and packaged. Anyway, so what if it is a natural product?  Know what else is a natural product?  Uranium.  They dig it right out  of the ground.  And so is juniper, and tumbleweed, and all those other things I’m allergic to.

And there’s the whole “aspartame causes _______”.  Know who you sound like? Those crazy people who think flouride in the water causes cancer, diabetes, feeble-mindedness, and a whole host of other illnesses.   One substance can’t cause all that any more than one substance can cure it. We have the best research in the world for aspartame; millions of people have used it for upwards of 30 years.  If it wasn’t safe, we’d know; we’d see it in actual scientific studies and in huge increases in whatever illness it caused. We wouldn’t have to rely on anecdotal “evidence.”

Understand, as far as I am concerned other people can eat whatever they want. You can have all the sugar you want.  But I can’t. And I know I can mix my own fruit into yogurt and put whatever sweetener I want in it. Pre-packaged yogurt was a convenient healthy alternative for me and now I can’t have it.

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