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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Only one day for love?!

Last week at my Toastmasters club meeting, we ran out of time for Table Topics. This segment of the meeting is when a club member is assigned to give the other members questions so they can give an impromptu 1-2 speech on that topic. Typically, the questions are related to the theme of the meeting.  Naturally, the theme of the meeting was Valentine’s Day. It was offered that next week these Table Topics could be used. Then it was shared that may not be a good idea, since the questions related to romance and “lovey dovey” stuff. I said “It shouldn't matter if we do this next week. Do we only have one day that we can talk about love?!”
I have been thinking about this the day after Valentine’s. How much emphasis is focused on this day that it has to be super romantic? What about the people without partners? Isn't it cruel to exclude them from a basic feeling such as love?
Also, as I grow older, I’m not a huge fan of all of the paraphernalia that is sold during this day. Sure, when I was younger, I liked the little Valentine cards and Sweetheart candies. Then, when we were first married, my husband would surprise me with heart shaped box of chocolates and teddy bears.
Now, I find that I am turning a jaundiced eye to the special Valentine’s Day items. For instance, I forgo the heart shaped box of chocolates. Instead, I opt for the bag of Ghirardelli caramel squares. There are more chocolate in the bag and half the price. Besides, the wrapper has pink hearts on it, so hurrah!
Since my husband and I have been through ups and downs, we don’t need a special day to remind us that we love each other. To quote one of my favorite love songs “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me” “But Fate's been kind and the downs have been few.” 
I leave with this—I like to celebrate Valentine’s Day remembering romantic songs. Here are a few more songs that are near and dear to my heart.  Take a listen and see what other songs bring back good memories. Don’t save up your “I loves you’s” for February 14. Be sure to tell the people you love them every day!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Beware: Exploding air popcorn!

One of my favorite snacks is popcorn, especially the microwave kind. It was so convenient to place the bag into the microwave and in 3 short minutes, have a warm, buttery treat.  Also, there are other flavors of microwave popcorn. I remember there was a co worker of mine who would cook up an afternoon snack of Jolly Time Marshmallow flavored popcorn. The sweet aroma permeated the hallways that we left our cubicles to track down that delicious scent!
Sadly, all that sweetness, salt and calories are not conducive to my conscious healthy eating. I decided to abandon popcorn. Then, one day on the radio, we were listening to the John Tesh Show and he mentioned that a cup of plain air popped popcorn is 31 calories. This is opposed to the microwave varieties, ranging from 60 to 120 calories. With that knowledge, I decided that air popped was the way to go.
After purchasing the appliance and setting it up, I poured the measured kernels into the cooking chamber. I covered it with the plastic hood and plugged the machine in. It sounded reminiscent of a hair dryer. I looked through the clear hood and saw the kernels whirling about.  I figured in a couple of minutes, the popcorn would funnel through into the waiting bowl.
Suddenly, these unpopped kernels started to shoot through. I made the mistake of picking up one of these scalding bb’s that were pinging the counter. I wasn't sure why these hot, uncooked kernels were flying out. Didn't they know they weren't done yet?  

After another minute, their fluffy counterpart began to cascade. The bowl caught the warm popcorn and the popping sound died down. I unplugged the contraption, not wanting to be assaulted by any wayward projectiles.  Maybe that’s how I can burn calories, by dodging the barrage of kernels!