Tuesday, February 28, 2012



Lent, to me, means dreary. I'm not so concerned with abstinence. It's just that the whole forty days of Lent seem dark. No Glorias or Allelujahs in the liturgy. Dreary. And for me, not in a good way. I guess I don't do introspection well.

Years ago, my sister called me up and said, "I know what I am giving up for Lent." she said. "What?" I asked. "Lent." she answered. I got it immediately.

And some people take the Lenten abstinence thing to a game perspective. It doesn't make sense to make it a silly game.

I am Lutheran. I admire Mother Teresa's Catholic charity she began decades ago in Calcutta: simply caring for the dying. Few of us could do what she and her fellow sisters have done, caring for the very poorest of the poor, as they lie dying in gutters and streets in Calcutta.

Here are some quotes from Mother Teresa, which I would prefer to meditate on these forty days, rather than giving up chocolate or soda or Facebook or whatever:

"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."

"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Bluebirds

We have had bluebirds overwintering this year.
I've never noticed them in past winters.
I decided that we should acquire some houses,
and become bluebird ranchers.

Bluebird houses are expensive!

So I went out and bought three cedar boards.
I emailed some houseplans to that Spouse o' Mine.
He cut the boards for me. And the door holes.
After I finished putting the houses together,
I read something on the bottom of the plans:
Put holes on the top for aeration,
and holes in the bottom for drainage.
Given my fine nailing skills,
the bluebirds won't have to worry about fresh air or drainage.

The cats checked out the action possibilities.
And there you are:
A bluebird house every 100 yards, around our pasture.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rural Tranquility

This morning's sunrise was a glorious mural of clouds and colors all across the eastern sky. I went outside early, still dark, to let the Bloodhound and Bouvier out to cavort in the pasture. I watched the sunrise, and the geese flying in their formations to and from the river.

The dogs run riot out of their dog yard until approximately 7:13 am, and then they must return back to their yard. 7:13, because 7:17 each weekday morning brings the school bus down our road, and if there is something Beau the Bloodhound loves, it's a good chase of anything large and noisy. I doubt that anything would ever come of his chasing the bus from one end of our property to the other, but there's always that "What if?" worry in the back of my mind. He never has, but "what if" Beau scaled one or two of the fences and got out and got hit by the bus? Not only would we be very sad for ol' Beau, but can you imagine the mental scar that might leave of a bunch of little school kids and their bus driver driver? She has had to honk at our ducks and peacocks - out in the road - before, and I think she might draw the line of patience at the Bloodhound.

I came in to have coffee and check life in the world, by means of the internet and BBC radio. Hmm...the weather for our day forecast a warm morning getting cooler, and a calm morning building to wind advisory including 45 mph wind gusts. In Kansas a wind advisory means serious business. It is not at all unusual to see semis pulled off the side of the interstate because the Kansas wind CAN blow them over. I have seen this. I have seen the Kansas wind blow our horse water tank over a fence and into the ditch. Ditto, just last fall one of our round bale feeders, which was set on side to be moved the night before, rolled across the pasture in the wind, rolled over the fence, across the highway, and into the far ditch. The next morning, I drove past and thought to myself, "That looks a lot like our bale feeder," and I drove on. Huh.

Since the forecast was "windy", I told that Spouse o' Mine that I was going to go hike the Konza Prairie early this morning, before the wind. (What a life, that I have to schedule my day around wind.) I am glad I headed out early. The fields from here to there were filled with Canada geese, foraging and feasting on corn. I suspect it was like a goose cocktail party, and the participants were scoping out the opposite sex for their springtime mating season. In one field, there were large white snow geese mingling with the Canada geese. They are very pretty!

Further down the road: a bald eagle in the air! I just love it when I spot those big birds. They are really beautiful creatures.

I hiked the Konza, taking a new route, which is always fun. I was heading back from my "out & back" when the wind picked up. Boy, it was WINDY up there on the top crest of the prairie! It never fails - I always marvel out there when I think about pioneers in their covered wagons, moving only a few miles each day, planning their meager meals (Did Pa shoot a rabbit today?), stopping in time to make camp, cook a meal, feed and tend to their precious (as in very, very important) livestock, repair any needs on the wagon/wheels/guns/tack.

Grad Student Gillian on the Konza
Affianced Claire running the Konza
And then back home, a day filled with indoor duties and distractions. While I spent the rest of the day inside, we had workmen and trucks and Ditchwich machines and such in our pasture and parked on the side of our house. The rural water people are moving the water line from Point A in our pasture to Point B. I think they are going to dig a long, long line along the fence in order to do this. Amazingly, they have picked two days in this month, two of the most rotten days of weather (in my books) in which to work on this - windy today, and a sleety, windy day two weeks ago. I wonder who schedules these plans. Why don't they do the whole job in days-in-a -row, instead of a day here and oh, let's show up again in two weeks.

This evening I let the dogs out again for their pasture romp. Both of them made a serious run for the giant Ditchwich machine the rural water people left out in our pasture. Beau the Bloodhound spent twenty minutes nosing around the machine and its perimeter. I could spray paint exactly where those workmen walked this afternoon, simply by watching Beau's attentive scent-hounding. It was interesting.

And there was an encore performance of the sun this evening: rivaling the sunrise, our sunset was a magnificent horizon of deep purple, orange, and pink lines, running parallel to the flat Kansas skyline.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spring in My Step

It sure feels like spring today! Sunny and warm and no wind: a perfect day!

I began my day with a hike on the Konza Prairie. It was clear and I could see for miles. In the woodsy area, I saw woodpeckers. Plural. Multiple Red-Headed Woodpeckers. How pretty, and interesting! Back at home, I saw a baby Red-Bellied Woodpecker exploring on one of our trees. I have never seen a baby Red-Bellied Woodpecker before. Compared to its much larger parents, this guy was a little tyke.

Although it feels like spring outdoors, it's not here yet.
But...it's spring in my house, sort of...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Food Stuff

I have seen a new commercial on TV recently which I did not like, showing some kids playing soccer, and ...

Oh, heck, I will just copy & paste the transcript from the Abbott website to cut to the chase:

Brittany’s Mom: Gotta be on your game today, honey.

Brittany: You bet!

(Kids playing on soccer field)

Brittany’s Mom: Nice move, Brittany, nice move!

(Boy dressed as French fries playing on field)

Tyler’s Mom: Does Tyler look a little …slow?

Brittany’s Mom: Well, kids are what they eat.

Tyler’s Mom: What’s Brittany been doing?

Brittany’s Mom: She’s been drinking PediaSure SideKicks.

Voiceover: Great-tasting PediaSure SideKicks, with 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, from PediaSure: the #1 pediatrician recommended brand.

(Brittany kicks soccer ball and scores; cheering)

Voiceover: PediaSure SideKicks. An extra kick of nutrition. (See nutrition information for fat content.)

Cut to me, the blog writer:
OK. So, from About.com, I see:
  • Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein
  • Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams
  • Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce


  • Chicken breast, 3.5 oz - 30 grams protein
  • Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
  • Drumstick – 11 grams
  • Wing – 6 grams
  • Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams


  • Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
  • Tuna, 6 oz can - 40 grams of protein


  • Pork chop, average - 22 grams protein
  • Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz – 29 grams
  • Ham, 3 oz serving – 19 grams
  • Ground pork, 1 oz raw – 5 grams; 3 oz cooked – 22 grams
  • Bacon, 1 slice – 3 grams
  • Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice – 5 – 6 grams

Eggs and Dairy

  • Egg, large - 6 grams protein
  • Milk, 1 cup - 8 grams
  • Cottage cheese, ½ cup - 15 grams
  • Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8-12 grams, check label
  • Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz
  • Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz
  • Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz

Beans (including soy)

  • Tofu, ½ cup 20 grams protein
  • Tofu, 1 oz, 2.3 grams
  • Soy milk, 1 cup - 6 -10 grams
  • Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans
  • Soy beans, ½ cup cooked – 14 grams protein
  • Split peas, ½ cup cooked – 8 grams

Nuts and Seeds

  • Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons - 8 grams protein
  • Almonds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
  • Peanuts, ¼ cup – 9 grams
  • Cashews, ¼ cup – 5 grams
  • Pecans, ¼ cup – 2.5 grams
  • Sunflower seeds, ¼ cup – 6 grams
  • Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
  • Flax seeds – ¼ cup – 8 grams
And here is Mayo Clinic's link for High-Fiber foods

FruitsServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Raspberries 1 cup 8.0
Pear, with skin 1 medium 5.5
Apple, with skin 1 medium 4.4
Strawberries (halves) 1 1/4 cup 3.8
Banana 1 medium 3.1
Orange 1 medium 3.1
Figs, dried 2 medium 1.6
Raisins 2 tablespoons 1.0
Grains, cereal & pastaServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 1 cup 6.2
Barley, pearled, cooked 1 cup 6.0
Bran flakes 3/4 cup 5.3
Oat bran muffin 1 medium 5.2
Oatmeal, quick, regular or instant, cooked 1 cup 4.0
Popcorn, air-popped 3 cups 3.5
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 3.5
Bread, rye 1 slice 1.9
Bread, whole-wheat or multigrain 1 slice 1.9
Legumes, nuts & seedsServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Split peas, cooked 1 cup 16.3
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 15.6
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15.0
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 13.2
Baked beans, vegetarian, canned, cooked 1 cup 10.4
Sunflower seed kernels 1/4 cup 3.9
Almonds 1 ounce (23 nuts) 3.5
Pistachio nuts 1 ounce (49 nuts) 2.9
Pecans 1 ounce (19 halves) 2.7
VegetablesServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Artichoke, cooked 1 medium 10.3
Peas, cooked 1 cup 8.8
Broccoli, boiled 1 cup 5.1
Turnip greens, boiled 1 cup 5.0
Sweet corn, cooked 1 cup 4.2
Brussels sprouts, cooked 1 cup 4.1
Potato, with skin, baked 1 medium 2.9
Tomato paste 1/4 cup 2.7
Carrot, raw 1 medium 1.7

Please enjoy. And Educate.

But mostly? Enjoy. Teach yourself, your spouse, your kids, that some lean beef, chicken, pork cheese or tofu will provide your necessary protein intake. NOT a drink from a can. And real, fresh fruits and vegetables will give you all the fiber your body needs to process whatever needs...processing?

OK, OK, I wrote a huge diatribe this evening about this commercial and about this product. (Small wonder that all our kids are REALLY healthy eaters, and one of them even has a college degree in nutrition.)

Read. Research.
Listen to common sense.

Why don't we question these commercials, anyway?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday, Funday

I ventured out for a walk/run this afternoon. I had gone about 2.5 miles, and was on a decline run (love those declines), and I spotted a cyclist coming toward me, about a quarter of a mile away. I thought it was my neighbor on her mountain bike, but as it got closer, I could see that it was a road bike. It was that Spouse o' Mine! That was a nice surprise. He rode back with me as I ran, then walked, then ran, and...oh, you get the idea. I like it when he surprises me like that.

As we were traveling down the road, our conversation went from subjects such as:

"What animal do you suppose built that nest?"to "Calves and Cows",to "Jeremy Lin",to "What an indigo bunting looks like",and so on.
A good Sunday conversation.

About Jeremy Lin: Harvard grad. Smart guy! It sounds like he comes from a great family. A good basketball player - what would they call him? - a sleeper? That is to say, he was overlooked for much of his college career, and when given the chance to shine this winter with the New York Knicks, boy, has he!

Now, here is what that Spouse o' Mine and I were chatting about as we ventured down the road in rural Kansas: One hears and reads little about Jeremy Lin which is NOT prefaced by the word: Asian. Asian Jeremy Lin. Asian this - Asian that - Jeremy Lin. Not "that California kid", or "the stellar student from Palo Alto". Asian player Jeremy Lin. How absurd. If you Google Asian basketball player, the first thing up is Yao Ming. And number four is Jeremy Lin. Now: Google "African American" basketball player, and there are lots of sites, but none for a particular man or woman who plays basketball. Google "Caucasian basketball player", and #5 is some blurb about Larry Bird. Google Mexican basketball player, not much to see. I am wondering, why can't we celebrate that there is a stellar university grad out there, who seems to be crime-record-free, who has no children out of wedlock, no tattoos (that I can see), and seems to be on a healthy road to success? Why is he only known as Asian Jeremy Lin?

Ok, that was one of our conversations out there on the road this afternoon. And here is a happy aside to it: An article in Time Magazine, tells of Jeremy Lin's father, Gie-Ming, and how he would take Jeremy to the YMCA after he finished his homework. They would practice and play in pickup games. "Many Asian families focus so much on academics," says Gie-Ming. "But it felt so good to play with my kids. I enjoyed it so much."

I appreciated reading that, because that Spouse o' Mine did much the same with our three kids - went out and played with them. Come to think of it - that's exactly what my Dad did with us, too! Maybe that's why I enjoyed reading about this family. I wish them much success, in the healthy athletic and academic arenas.

After my walk/run down the road, I came back to face the task at hand: Biserka the Bouvier has blown her coat. What does that mean? We can assume that spring is well on its way, because when a furry dog "blows its coat", it means that it is shedding, in a big way. See:

Blowing a Coat

This video shows exactly what I did this afternoon with Biserka. I had noticed her earlier this weekend, scratching, and sure enough - that cotton-candy fur was coming out in heaps and heaps. The aftermath looked like something dark and hairy had been slaughtered in our yard. Darn it! I had hoped the wind would have taken the fur with it to Nebraska or Oklahoma, wherever the "variable" wind this afternoon would have deigned,but the fur seems to have planted itself in our yard. Hmmm... maybe some birds will build Bouvier designer nests this spring.

And now, daughter Claire is calling to rant about the southern Virginia drivers who, according to Claire, have no hope of coping in the foretasted snow the next 48 hours.

And this is our Sunday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Corner Grocer

This afternoon I read a blog which made me realize how far the pendulum has swung for me in terms of grocery shopping in my adult life. The author was describing a new Harmon's Grocers which had opened up in her neighborhood. It has a huge deli, seating for 300 people, cooking classes, and more.

There was a time when I, too, shopped at fun grocery stores which intrigued the shopper. Back in the flying days, when I could wrangle a once-a-week trip to London, I formed my grocery list to accommodate a stop in at Sainsbury's and some of the local corner shops. Bubbles & Squeak, steak & kidney pies (before Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, aka Mad Cow Disease), wonderful curries, and teas.

Even before my trips to the UK, I had interesting marketing experiences while living in Egypt. There, I honed my skills at dealing in the black market for flour, learning when the chicken boat would arrive from Brazil, negotiating an agreeable price for veal (which the market man and I BOTH knew was really full-grown, adult {and tough} water buffalo), althewhile ignoring the fact that there was a cat or two or three licking the dripping blood off of the very-recently slaughtered carcass (a la Moslem tradition - the slaughtering, not the cats).

Back in the flying days when I had to pick up "hours" of flying. Some of those "hours" meant sitting in New York, waiting for a flight. I shared an apartment with some other flight attendants back then. Being a Midwesterner, I had no clue how people in New York City shopped for items. It was as foreign to me as shopping in Cairo or Europe. I would venture to bet that NYC has not changed its ways in 20 years, and still the customers are at the mercy of their corner grocer.

When I needed to pick up more hours in my flying years, I would bid for trips to Los Angeles. This was a boon for me, the young mother of two who now lived in Michigan. Not only did my kids grow up eating Bubble & Squeak while dressed in adorable Laura Ashley dresses (because Laura Ashley was always a stop in my weekly trips to London), they got to play in the snowy north and then come into the kitchen and snack on almonds fresh from the trees, and fresh fruit that we might not readily have in the great white north. I didn't pick Los Angeles trips just for the groceries, but it was a perk to a working mother to be able to knock off one "chore" while on a trip, and thereby having that job crossed off my list when I arrived back home. I realized that I must have looked interesting, leaving the plane with the rest of the flight crew, with grocery bags stacked on top of my crew kit. But think - I worked my week's hours, and got in the grocery shopping for the coming week, sans kids, and who in their right mind wants to grocery shop with two toddlers? Talk about a win-win-win.

Most flying schedules were monthly. If I bid for a destination for the following month, it meant I would have 4-5 trips there, in four weeks. So, when I bid for Spain, it meant great seafood (Barcelona) and leather shopping (Madrid), plus a trip to
El Corte Inglés for groceries for that week. Hola Paul! Hola bebés! Would you like some paella?

Rome. I don't recall where I shopped in Rome, but I do remember the pastas and the wines that I would bring home. I think I was more interested in the history and art - I do love that place - but that's when I learned "my" lasagne recipe, after researching many

And now, back in the US, and here in rural Kansas. Huh. What a change. Twelve miles out of town, and I have developed a fairly good organization of household and grocery maintenance. Not foolproof - I have had the odd needs of calling a neighbor for something, but for the most part, I do quite well. Quite well, or do without, I suppose. This week, that Spouse o' Mine was out of town. Today, I really, REALLY wanted pizza. Pizza from a pizza joint is off my list of healthies, and so I made my own. It felt odd, making it midday and all by my lonesome, but I wanted pizza. If it were on my list of healthies it would still be a 24-mile drive away. So I pulled out the yeast and flour and pizza stone and went to work.

And so, here is my experience with groceries.

Fun and work, work and fun.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

White and Reds

This morning was cold when I climbed into my snowsuit and headed outdoors to do animal stuff. "Animal stuff" involves breaking ice (or in this morning's case, not even bothering with the blocks in the dog buckets and duck pans; just bring out new buckets and pans holding a few inches of water), letting dogs out to ramble and gambol in the pasture, then feeding all the critters and separating the canines from the canards so that we have no casualties in the day.

It was 8º and the pasture was beautifully, thickly, frosted. I didn't have a camera, and even if I did, I don't think I could have captured the glitters and glistening. Beau the bloodhound loped from one end of the pasture to the other, nose-to-ground, with a meander that would make the Suwannee River look like a straight line from point A to B. Biserka the Bouvier was a little more reticent to frolic this morning. The frost builds up in her furry pads, I think, and makes walking out there more unpleasant than she would prefer. But she was happy to be out and standing at attention in the middle of nowhere.

When we got back into the yard, I saw a group of cardinals, male and female, hovering around the duck pond. The duck pond is the term I use for the (human) kiddie pool we have set out under the privet and lilac hedges, for the ducks' use. And this winter, all birds flock to it. They have figured out that each morning I pour about two gallons of warm water over the ice build-up. This ensures that the ducks and other fowl can have a few sips of water while they stand on the ice build-up.

Up in a tree, I heard a familiar tap-tap-tap. It was one of our local red-bellied woodpeckers, with his black-and-white geometric back and his very bright red head. Not only are these woodpeckers bright, but they are large. So...easy to spot out on a grey winter day.

By the time I had finished doing "animal stuff" this morning, there was already a thin layer of ice in the dogs' water buckets and the duck pan. And tonight, I replayed the entire activity, and tucked in all the animals.

Snow is forecast tonight. Be still, my hopeful heart.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Winter's Day in February

Just as we all were lamenting the absence of winter, the north wind sneaks up on us here in mid-February and blows a fierce breeze into our hearths and homes. It is just dinner time (actually, not even, because our bread is still rising), and the temperature outside is 19º F. And a low of 4º is forecast tonight. Yikes. But...where is the white stuff? That's what I am missing.

Here is a hanger-on:

I was temporarily felled by a cold yesterday. But I adhere to the concept of going to bed when one is sick, and thus I did, and you know what? I felt much better today. I felt much better, that is, until 4:00 in the afternoon, and then I had to stretch out on the sofa for another lay-about to regroup my energy. It worked. My mother told me years ago, that children's fevers spike at 4:00 pm. Call it what you want, but I don't think it's an Old Wife's Tale. I think it's a matter of listening to nature's way. That's another thing my mother taught me - to listen to nature's way. And so I do, and so I do indeed feel better. This, with an aspirin yesterday and another this afternoon. Lots of tissues, and no cold meds inbetween.

My Mom raised a non-medicinal passel of brats. Thanks, Mom! We're a tough lot.

Grad student Gillian is home for the weekend.

That is always nice, although it's sort of quiet this weekend because she is finishing up her last semester of her Master's and seems to be reading and writing and drinking tea most of her waking hours. Anyway, as my Guinness-molasses bread is rising, so is her hunger, and so she has silently volunteered to go in and get the dinner party started: salmon, with a zucchini-cauliflower gratin. And whatever her culinary heart desires: the kitchen is her theater tonight. And I am thankful.

And this is the start of our c-c-c-cold weekend!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wedding Bells

Daughter Claire is engaged!

This isn't news, really.

They got engaged a few days into the New Year. But I have to say: what a fun time this is!

A wedding!

A summer wedding in the mountains!

A small, family wedding in the summer in the mountains!

Happy New Year!

Monday, February 06, 2012

February Day

If winter comes,
can spring be far behind?
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Ah, but the key phrase here is "If winter comes".

Is it coming??! I sure wish it would come, in the cloak of snowy white, and clear freezing nights on which one can stargaze through a million light years, and crisp, crunchy mornings, and frosty windowpanes, and beautiful sunsets, and...

But I am not sure but what we've missed winter this year.

My daffodils have sprung. The grass in the yard, just today, looks a shade greener in hue than it did three days ago - thanks to the much-needed rain, no doubt. Rain which coulda been snow, if we were having winter. In fact, we got so much rain, I wonder how many inches of snow that might have been? Enough for me to haul out the XC skis and enjoy the XC ski course I groomed some 4 months ago, in anticipation of winter. But, my skis are unused thus far, in Winter 2011-12. I hauled out my rainboots instead.

And instead of enjoying Jack Frost painting our window panes, I washed windows this weekend.

Surely, a harbinger of spring.

Oh, dear.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

28 years

Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths.
No man or woman really knows what perfect love is
until they have been married a quarter of a century.
~ Mark Twain

Friday, February 03, 2012


Birthdays come and go around here, and they seem to be coming and going much more quickly than they did thirty years ago. There must be some physics explanation for this.

Today is that Spouse o' Mine's birthday. I will choose to forget which year, because mine is following close at heels to his, and that's just something I might like to enjoy in the peace & quiet of my own mind.

However: This is a photo of a great man. I love him!Oh, wait.

Maybe that should be tomorrow's blog entry,
because tomorrow, bright and early,
he and I shall be celebrating
twenty-eight long, long years of wedded bliss.

But, that's tomorrow.

Here's to the man I love, and to his birthday.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Cheese, Louise...!!

That Spouse o' Mine came home tonight with an interesting subject for debate and banter. We like to debate, and banter, and subjects close to both our hearts are food, nutrition, horticulture, and agriculture. Tonight, he and NPR baited me:


"We eat about 31 pounds of it per person each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimates. That's nearly triple the amount Americans were eating in 1970."

That Spouse o' Mine was quoting this evening's NPR article about cheese consumption. Hmm...

I quickly went online to read the script. NPR was putting a blurb on about Americans and our fat problem. Yep. We are fat. Why? I'm going to guess it has to do with fast foods. Fast food burgers which are made up of heaven-knows-what-percentage-of-fat-as-opposed-to-protein, and also made in portions designed to feed the size of 4x Goliath, not the ordinary non-exercising American. (There's a key word: non-exercising.)

But here: "Cheese and other dairy products are the leading source of saturated fat that our kids are swallowing," says Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "And I think most Americans are totally oblivious to it."

"...other dairy products..." Other dairy products? Is this referring to "processed" cheese? Or "cheese" which is REALLY only vegetable fats, somehow formed into weird orange colors and weird shapes and marketed for sports nights and college dorms?

I'd like a definition of cheese, if you please. We like our cheeses. Yes! We even make cheese: chèvre, from some local goats in our "neighborhood". We like Swiss, cheddar (white - not orange - what's that about? - do cows give orange milk, I ask you?!) and we love Brie, Blue, Roquefort, and many others. We Armstrongs love cheese. I suspect we enjoy/ingest more than the NPR-reported 31-pounds of cheese a year. I really, realistically, do.

But here is the rub: We are eating REAL cheese. Real calcium, by the way:

Not processed, partially-homogenized fats and fake whatever oily thing
you will "enjoy" in restaurants everywhere in the USA.

So I would like NPR and the USDA to qualify that to which they are alluding.

And now: I will step off my soapbox, yet again.
Thank you very much for your input.
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