Category Archives: Annice’sAngle

To Shop or Not to Shop On-line: What do you do?

Annice
Annice

To Shop or Not to Shop On-line – That is the Question? I am not an on-line shopper – at all.  However, after spending an evening with several female friends (they know who they are) I’m wondering if I should be.  Over dinner, they listed all the advantages:  time saved; never running out of things; catching some great deals; and of course they never pay shipping.  So there I sat eating my Salad Niçoise at the Laughing Seed with two nicoisewomen I admire and respect trying hard to figure out what’s up with me that I don’t shop on-line.  Weeks rolled by, and I forgot all about that conversation until I grabbed my must-have Deva (curly) hair product only to realize I couldn’t squeeze out one more drop, and I did not have another one stashed away in my closet.  I’d have to live with a bad hair day for sure.  Digging deeper into this 21st century  phenomenon, I started thinking about my big aversion to shopping on-line is and why I find it all so overwhelming.

Deva
Deva

For starters, I’m on the computer much of my day at work, and then again in my spare time at home working on my book whenever I can, so getting back on the computer to shop doesn’t excite me.  It’s not that I’ve never shopped on-line.  I admit to buying presents at holiday time for out of town family and friends because I hate packing up presents not to mention the waiting in line at the post office during Christmas time. Another reason I hate shopping on-line is all the popcorn, bubble wrap, shredded paper and boxes I have to deal with from my husband who does shop on-line. The packaging spills all over the kitchen and then it piles up in the garage where I then have to nag my husband to break it all down and schlep it to the recycling bins across town.  All that packaging can’t be good for the environment and then what about the carbon footprint?  Besides, I still like to touch things and try things on and neither my feet nor my body always fit into the same size.  And returns?  I really hate that too, re-wrapping and taking it to the post office.

Last Saturday, I was out doing errands – a lot of errands.  I think I spent close to 4 hours driving all over town to Trader Joe’s, Pet Smart, the dry cleaners, and worst of all to the Mall to get the Deva product I had run out of, and then finally to the kitchen store to get the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer Cutter (millions sold in Europe) and I got to thinking veggie cutterabout my two smart friends who said they save SOOOOOOOOOOO much time, and what about the price of gas? It’s a dilemma for me.  So, what do YOU do?  Any advice?

A Little Carbon Monoxide to Enhance your Sushi?

 Annice

Annice 

A few weeks ago, after the long awaited grand opening of our new Harris Teeter supermarket, I decided to drop by after Terra’s obedience class.  It was past dinner time, I was hungry, and parking was at a premium.

Harris Teeter

Very nice, I thought, as I strolled the aisles.  Yep, everything is here:  gorgeous looking produce, 20,000 cereal boxes, and a very attractive deli counter.  Perfect, I thought, I’ll just grab some sushi, buy a few apples, and go home to eat.

sushi counter

The sushi looked divine.  I picked up the first package and noticed an oversized label.  WTF – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor?” (Question mark, mine).  I re-read the label 3 times – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor,” not to mention all the other chemicals on the label.  I picked up a few other varieties, and there in bold print – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor.”

I politely (as least I thought I was) spoke to the help behind the counter:  “Excuse me, am I reading this right?  You put carbon monoxide in the sushi?” One would have thought I had the plague, the way everyone stepped back about three feet.  They looked at me, looked at each other, and kind of shrugged their shoulders.  No one said a word.  “Really?” I asked.  “Carbon Monoxide?”  At that point, others around the deli counter seemed to be gathering and waiting for an answer.  I started to feel a little embarrassed for the counter help.  Surely they were excited to have a new job at the new Harris Teeter.  I was not trying to create a scene, but the sushi a la carbon monoxide really got the better of me.  At last, someone spoke up:  “Yes, it’s to retain color, and it’s approved by the FDA.”

sushi

Oh yeah, that made me feel better.  Japan, Canada and the countries of the European Union have banned the practice because of fears that it could be used to mask spoiled fish.

I moved on to buy some organic apples, and despite the fact that our region is the 3rd or 4th largest apple producer in the country- no local organic apples.  I will admit, I don’t always eat organic, but I do like my apples to be just that.

Once home, I just had to Google the use of carbon monoxide in fish, and I learned that not only are fish brokers, supermarkets and restaurants using carbon monoxide for fish, but it’s being used on beef, too, to keep that raw red color. 

For all you sushi eaters out there, Whole Foods and our local Earth Fare stores do not use carbon monoxide to retain color.  

Here are some useful links:

http://www.harristeeter.com/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carbon-monoxide/DS00648

What Do You Do the First Hour of Your Day?

Annice

Lately, when I’m with my women friends over 50, all I see is women feeling overwhelmed, and I don’t think it’s just because I’m feeling a little crazy and over caffeinated.  It’s as if there is a little birdie in my head tweeting (and not digitally) about the importance of work/life balance, causing me to yearn for it BEFORE retirement. So, for the last 30 days, I borrowed the NIKE tagline – Just Do It – as my very own personal mantra, and guess what? It didn’t work, so I’m re-thinking my strategy and examining how I spend my day.

In fact, I’ve been researching how highly accomplished people spend their day. It’s not that I am highly accomplished, but that I want to accomplish more in my day. So, how do they do it? Recently, I picked up an old article in Fast Company, What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day which got me thinking about how I spend my first hour.

The author, Kevin Purdy, interviewed lots of highly accomplished people, and one of the tips is to: “Focus on the human side of work rather than your task list. The author likened the first hour of the day to “homeroom.” Remember that? The first period of the day when you basically just showed up to let the teacher know you were present. Purdy suggests we re-create our very own adult home room every morning. In other words, a time to just check in with oneself.

More Tips:

  • Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Seriously. Stop That!
  • Take that hour of Power – 30 Minutes to Thrive – or at least  Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.  “Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”  This creates a new habit where YOU are in control.
Then there is Dr. Oz’s tip – I love this one:  A seven minute morning wake up workout you can even do in your PJ’s.  Check it out.
But for me, I covet designer Donna Karan’s first hour of the day, and by the way,  just give me her entire morning.  Up at 7:00, and either Pilates or yoga with an instructor who comes to her house.  Then, it’s a hot morning bath with essential oils – all that BEFORE breakfast at 9:30.  Oh, she tries her best to squeeze in acupuncture at 1:00 p.m.  If you don’t believe me, check it out: Donna Karan’s Morning Routine
Right now,  I’m feeling overwhelmed just from writing about Donna’s morning.  I think I’ll just start mine with a Bloody Mary or two.  

The Zen of Pontoon Boating

Annice

Every August for the last four years, a group of us (women over 50) spend the day on one of the most beautiful lakes in this country.

OUR LAKE

Hope you don’t mind if I don’t share the name of that beautiful pristine lake in Tennessee, but we just don’t want all the tourists coming with their loud motor boats, radios, etc.  Even though we only spend one day on the lake, it becomes an event for us gals.  There is a core of us who embark on this journey every year, but sometimes friends drop out (usually because of family commitments) so others join in.  It’s always a surprise, and it always works out.

Why is this day so special for us women over 50?   It’s simple.  It gives us one day where we can leave behind all the demands of our families – kids, aging parents, husbands, partners, meals, laundry, and on and on.

TAKING OFF

For one full day, our fearless captain Gwen, steers our Pontoon Boat so we can  just “be.” For some of us, it’s an escape from the everyday hassles of computers and technology that

LIFE IS GOOD!

sometimes overwhelm our modern and crazy life.  It allows us to bathe our bodies in the cool freshwater of the lake and feel the chill on our skin when we get out.  It allows us to anticipate the taste of a slice of juicy cold watermelon after a piece of tangy barbecued chicken.  It’s a time to visit with each other without interruptions, and it’s a time to say good-by to summer and agree to plan two visits to the lake next year even though we all know it won’t happen.  It just is.

TOO MUCH FUN!

Precious Gus

Annice
Over the last two years, I’ve been writing about Gus, my 11 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  I wrote about Gus on steroids, Gus constipated, Gus at the vet, and Gus on a very expensive diet.

If you recall, we rescued him nine years ago, complete with a bullet underneath his belly.  And since that time, he’s blessed us with so much love and affection, charming anyone who’s ever been to my house.  He was my boy.  I’m so sad to say that he died suddenly of liver cancer (at least that’s what the doctor thinks) three weeks ago.  It happened so fast, I still can’t believe it.  I was in Cleveland coping with the sudden death of my father when my husband called to tell me Gus was sick.  I wish I could have been there to say good-bye, but since that was not meant to be, indulge me in a few photos as I say my sweet good-bye to my sweet Gus.

Gus with Stick

 

 

Gus taking it easy
Gus Sleeping