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Posts tagged ‘kids’

If You Think Reading is Boring, You’re Doing it Wrong

I’ve always loved to read.  Ever since I was little, I was able to immerse myself in a book.  I would get lost in this world; create pictures of it within my mind (that’s actually what I don’t like about movie versions of a book-the pictures look different than what I created).  I can loose all sense of time when I’m reading a book I really enjoy.

These are SO going to be my kids (at least I can only hope!)

There was actually one time in high school that I got into an argument with my English teacher over reading.   We were required to keep a reading log and write down the time that we started reading, the time we finished and how many pages (I guess to help prove that we actually read).  I really got into this one book (All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark) and I spent 6 hours one Sunday reading it.  When I got to class the next day and had my teacher check off on my reading log, he looked at me and said “Really?  I’m supposed to believe that you actually read for 6 hours?”  I was SO mad at him!  “Call my parents and ask them.  Do you really think that if I were trying to fake this that I’d write that down?!”  (Having helped many of my friends fake their reading logs I knew how to fake them without him knowing they were fake).  He begrudgingly signed off on it and never did call my parents but the point is, if I like a book, I’ll read it for as long as I can.  There are some days that I only stop reading because I’m starting to fall asleep and didn’t comprehend the last two pages!

My parents (especially my mom) always supported us reading and tried to get my brother and I to read as often as possible.  When we went shopping, my mom never had an issue spending money on books (as opposed to movies).  That is one thing that I obtained from my mom.  I never have issues buying books but always think longer about other purchases. Maybe one reason is that one of the biggest series of all time came out when I was 11 and continued to adulthood:

Harry Potter! My cousin and I actually had a competition on who could read this the fastest!

For some reason, things start to not be as cool during middle school/high school anymore.  Reading, unfortunately, becomes one of them.  It’s not cool to read books anymore; Cliff Notes are what we use for school and reading for fun is unheard of.  While the number of books I read on my own significantly dropped once I was in high school, I never stopped completely.  I was actually one of the best readers within my English classes, and had I not been so shy, I would have read out loud more.

I still think that reading is a very important thing and I feel it’s something that is lacking within my age group.  Video games have overtaken reading, and it’s sad to me.  I feel, video games close your mind, they don’t increase creativity or imagination.  They just have you search a different room and let you chose your weapon (will it be a machine gun or flame thrower?).

I can still sit for hours and read a book. In fact, it took me 4 days total to finish all 3 of the Hunger Games series (5 hours for Mockingjay).  The cool thing for me, too, is that if I really love a book, I will read it over and over again and still be just as enthralled in it as I was the first time.  That is another reason I tend to purchase my books.

Rarely do I ever get rid of a book, but that also means that I am very picky about the books that I do read.  If you’re having difficulty finding books that you want to read here are some of my favorites that I’ve read multiple times (by the way, these are just the ‘adult’ books. I LOVE kids books! Dr Seuss is still my favorite!):

One of my new favorites!

Love Harry Potter

The Time Travelers Wife By Audrey Niffenegger, The Horse Whisperer By Nicholas Evans, Girl With a Pearl Earring By Tracy Chevalier, A Dog’s Purpose By W. Bruce Cameron, The Other Boylen Girl By Phillipa Gregory

Another HUGE Favorite: Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials including: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

Oh I also loved (and didn’t think I would) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (I’ve got an issue with the circus and I don’t like anything related to it but I was pleasantly surprised with this book).

There are books out there for everyone (have you been to a Barns and Noble recently?! They’re huge!) If you don’t like one, there’s not a rule that says that you have to finish it…move on to another.  All I can say is try it, you may be surprised at how much you like it!

And remember:

Seriously?!

Seriously?  Seriously?  You have got to be kidding me.

This morning I went to the website Huffingtonpost.com to get my daily source of news and I see this on the front page:

Pink Slime For School Lunch: Government Buying 7 Million Pounds Of Ammonia-Treated Meat For Meals

“Pink slime — that ammonia-treated meat in a bright Pepto-bismol shade — may have been rejected by fast food joints like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King, but is being brought in by the tons for the nation’s school lunch program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is purchasing 7 million pounds of the “slime” for school lunches, The Daily reports. Officially termed “Lean Beef Trimmings,” the product is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It’s then blended into traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.

Controversy surrounding “pink slime” stems from various safety concerns, particularly dangers associated with ammonium hydroxide, which can both be harmful to eat and has potential to turn into ammonium nitrate — a common component in homemade bombs, according to MSNBC. It’s also used in household cleaners and fertilizers.”

Wait a minute...something doesn't make sense here....

So somehow the USDA has decided that THIS is an acceptable food source for our children.  Even after it was REJECTED by McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Burger King!  Seriously?  Taco Bell, one of the GROSSEST fast food places in my opinion, decided not to use it but it’s fit to feed kids for school lunches.

How…What…REALLY?!  It’s so hard to wrap my head around this enough to form coherent sentences to talk about this.  How is this ok?  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is supposed to tell us what are healthy, good things to eat.  We (the American Public) are supposed be able to trust them.

For me, they lost their credibility a long time ago (Google “Pizza is a vegetable” or “Walnuts are Drugs and Doritos are Heart Healthy“) but this is a whole new level of low.  How can anyone think that ammonium treated meat is safe to eat let alone actually go and purchase this and send it to schools all over the country for our children to eat.

It makes me sick.

A few years ago, a TV show came out called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and it brought to light what our schools are feeding our children.  Everything is highly processed and full of sugar, salt, and fat.  He woke people up to the fact that there are no fresh fruits or vegetables in any of the school lunches-they’re usually canned (which means processed) and sitting in sugar.

Jamie Oliver even had a section of his show dedicated to the “Pink Slime” to wake up the parents’ to what they’re kids were eating. I really recommend you watch it.  It’s only 6 minutes long but I feel it’s really powerful.

Mmmm...yummy!

I’m not trying to turn you off of meat, necessarily.  I’m just trying to open your eyes to what’s going on.

You can try to ignore this, but it’s not going to go away and it’s not going to get any better.

If you think that you can’t do anything about it, you’re wrong.  Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Every dollar you spend is a vote.  Vote for healthy food.  Vote for no hormones, no chemicals, and non-factory farmed meat.  Buy local when you can!  Buy organic, grass-fed beef (it is out there and easy to find).

Educate yourself.  Don’t just take one side as absolute truth.

Use your minds. Think for yourself, and for God’s sake, send your kids with cold lunch!

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