cutting our ancient shortcomings

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Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same thing last year about this time.
~ Mark Twain
(Mark Twain Speaks for Himself)

23 thoughts on “cutting our ancient shortcomings”

    1. Happy New Year, Debbie! I often wonder what Mr. Twain would have to say about so many of things happening in our times. 😉

    1. Happy New Year, Linda! Moderation is definitely better, making small steady manageable changes in our habits is the way to go.

      1. Back at you Barbara! Moderation is best – otherwise we are overwhelmed and abandon it all sooner rather than later. My mom and I never started our resolutions until after the holidays were over and the work week/old routine began again. That made it easier too. I have been better at giving things up for Lent, than New Year’s Resolutions.

        1. I can imagine giving up things for Lent would be easier because you have someone higher than yourself to answer to! What kinds of things do you give up?

          1. I was going to say that exact sentence in my comment Barbara! That is so true. It was always food until last year. It was rough as sometimes my mom’s birthday (Valentine’s Day) was during Lent and sometime’s mine was. My mom and I gave up sweets every year so after my mom passed away in January 2010, I decided I would give up something different every Lent and just no longer eat that item forever. So I gave up fried food one year, take-out the next year, red meat the next. No more salty snacks was one year and always no more sweets. I have not eaten fried food, nor take-out food ever again, nor red meat and have not been to a restaurant since early 2009. (That could change I guess – I just don’t particularly like eating alone in a restaurant.) The only salty snacks I eat are whole-grain Goldfish crackers. Last year I gave up Solitaire on the computer, something I really like to play. I will do that this year too. I should give up Wordle as my win streak is abysmal. 🙂

          2. Interesting choices. I gave up red meat in August on my doctor’s recommendation. Turns out I love turkey burgers just as much as hamburgers! With my damaged gut and diet restrictions I can’t eat at restaurants, either. What I miss the most are some high fiber favorites, like roasted Brussels sprouts. This year for Christmas we had another turkey breast instead of our usual spiral ham. Life is all about adjusting to changes…

          3. My mom did make fried food and we had fast food if we had errands as it was easier. It took me a long time to convince my mom that we did not have to always have a sit-down dinner or home-cooked meal every night. We got into a habit when Little Caesar’s Pizza had their $5.00 cheese and pepperoni pizza of splitting one every Friday night. I stopped all that, though now pizza is the only thing I do crave. I like turkey, chicken and fish, so giving up red meat was not a big sacrifice to me in the long run. When it was just my mom and me, we usually had a turkey breast for holiday dinners and had enough left over for other meals afterward. A fellow blogger and her husband went on a Keto diet and have lost weight and they say they feel more energetic than ever. She works from home and her husband makes the meals. She takes photos of the meals sometimes and I see the menus and the food choices do not seem healthy, like eating red meat, a lot of protein and high-fat foods. I would worry about that diet being unhealthy. Yes, adjusting to changes and adapting a new diet … you’ve had to deal with that more than me Barbara and I know it must be tough sometimes. P.S. – one of the reasons I gave up eating out was Michigan had so many incidents of Hepatitis A from food handlers not practicing good hygiene so this resulted not only in illness, but in death (27 died in Michigan from the time of the first outbreak and through 2018), I was at the grocery store buying hand soap during the height of the outbreak and the woman stocking the shelves and I were talking about that outbreak. She told me her daughter was an emergency room nurse and because of all the Hepatitis A cases, she refused to eat fast food or dine in a restaurant or eat prepared food (I don’t buy deli meat or potato salad either, nor baked goods in the bakery cases, nor bread or baked goods made in Meijer (as it is Michigan based) to this day, due in part to the Hep A outbreak).

          4. My parents used to buy a cow from a farm every winter and split it with my aunt. I remember going to the butcher for the day while they butchered it and wrapped up all the portions to store in our big freezer in the basement. It was fascinating watching the butcher feed the meat into the grinder for ground beef, and how he chose which parts of the cow to make into steaks or roasts. We would also play outside the barn in the snow and smell the smoke from the shed where they were smoking hams. We had chickens at home which we also ate. My cousin used to go moose hunting in Canada every year and we would also get some moose meat for our freezer. I don’t remember them buying meat from a grocery store until we returned home from living in Greece. I remember loving my mother’s Swiss Steak recipe, but for the most part she was a terrible cook. (I’m just like her — the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) My father did most of the cooking. He made spaghetti sauce with ground beef in it from scratch. Yummy. The beef we find in the stores these days doesn’t taste the same so it was not hard to give up. I could be a happy vegetarian if it weren’t for my damaged gut. (For years The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen was my primary cookbook.) Oh well. Sometimes we just have to make the best of it! I do miss pizza! Every one I know who went on the Keto diet gained the weight back. I don’t blame you for avoiding restaurants. I never did like deli meats, they are full of carcinogens and used to trigger migraines. It shouldn’t be so hard to figure out what we should be eating!

          5. I have a friend who lives in a rural area in Ontario – we used to work together and she gets a side of beef every Winter. She said she has never bought beef at the store in her life and she is in her 80s.

            I have followed a website for years for recalls and warnings about contaminated food. I started with the Dole recalls for listeria because at that time we had a canary and fed him Romaine lettuce (they can only eat leafy lettuce as the rest is too watery). There were so many recalls we just got him broccoli, though he loved his lettuce. I’d see lots of items being recalled that never made the local news … I have bought turkey lunch meat, but just the one that is natural and low nitrates (Hormel), but it is all salty. It is so difficult to figure out what is good and bad for you. I would miss carbs and I like a nice rustic bread with butter, but I use Benecol. I found a nice sourdough by “Rustik” brand, but I try to have whole grain – that likely bothers you though. I cannot see how Keto is healthy with all the fats – carbs are in everything, it’s hard to eliminate them.

          6. You made me think of that expression, a canary in a coal mine. It seems like canaries are as sensitive to the contaminants found in food as they are to chemicals floating in the air. Your poor canary serves as a warning to us about the dangers lurking in our food supply. We can try but it is impossible in this world to avoid all carcinogens and pathogens…

          7. Yes, canaries are susceptible to respiratory illness in part because of their throat structure; that throat structure makes them such loud singers. We had one canary who, if no one congratulated him on his singing, or we happened to be in the other room, he’d sing even louder. He loved Christmas songs. My mom would leave the kitchen to go down the hall and if Sugar wasn’t singing, as soon as he realized he was alone, he would start singing. Such joy from such a little bird.

  1. Mark Twain always told it just like it was. No New Year resolutions for me – so I cannot break them a few weeks down the road. Happy New Year Barbara.

    1. Happy New Year, Peggy! My father loved to quote Mark Twain. I took him to the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT, years ago. In the reception area they had his quotes all over the walls. He wasn’t one to mince words.

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