Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Easter Bunny Fails Nationwide

I had a plan too. I bought white eggs, even boiled the whole dozen. I bought an egg coloring kit, candy, plastic eggs. My sister sent Olivia an Easter dress, and I made special trips to buy matching shoes, purse and hair-thing. My husband was sent out late to get a basket for the eggs. I got one of those wind-up chicks that is cute and fuzzy and yellow and hops along. Oh, and I bought pre-mixed cookie dough so we could make sugar cookies.

I left the sugar cookie dough out overnight Saturday, so I didn't dare make those, I didn't color any eggs with my 1-year-old who would have loved it. We let her wear her shoes out to eat the night before to Waffle House (just saying that makes me feel like such a redneck) and we accidentally left them there, so she had no matching shoes for church. (She went without, so now hillbilly redneck). I didn't put any of the candy in the plastic eggs, and I didn't really even hide them, I just took two minutes and scattered them around the deck. There was a little candy, but no Easter dinner. I think we had ravioli's from a can. And finally, my daughter was irrationally afraid of the wind-up chick.

I know there were reasons for all of this but I don't remember them now. L. if you find a place that will outsource the bunny, hook me up.

Update on catsup, shredders, and meat

First off, last time I was at McDonalds I ordered a salad and fries. I tried to limit the number of catsup packets they gave me by asking for TWO packets. Still got a handful. Next time maybe I will take out how many I want and hand back the rest. I can already imagine the look of sheer confusion in their eyes as I wave the catsups in the air between us.

I told my DH that I blogged about the paper shredder and he was dismayed and confused. The shredder is now safely hidden away inside the ottoman in the family room. I'm not exactly sure why that's a good place for it, but it's usually out of sight now and I'm not going to complain. I'd rather have the blankets out than the shredder.

It is really hard to buy meat that comes from happy animals. Companies just don't advertise how the animals were treated before they got them. With a few exceptions - Chipotle uses free range pork for their carnitas, and Ben and Jerry's gets their dairy from local farmers. There's a restaurant up in Tyson's somewhere that says they use local meat as much as they can. But even the flag "organic" doesn't mean "humanely treated." A chicken can be just as miserable and being fed organic corn.

I took it a step farther and ordered a side of beef from a local rancher. I am so excited! We'll be getting about 86 lbs of beef (*faints*) in mid-May (Walt, if you guys want some, I think we can split some). We're paying a flat rate of $3.70/lb and getting a quarter of a steer. That will include about 40 lbs of hamburger, 25 lbs of steak and the rest roasts, ribs, etc. We aren't going to get the organs because ew. But we could if someone wanted them. The farmer was really nice and glad to get the order.

There's a store in my town that sells Farm Fresh eggs from a local farm. (you can buy farm fresh eggs at Frying Pan Park too). I wish there was a local dairy for fresh milk, but I haven't found one so far. I also found another place that you can buy farm-raised chickens but I'm a little more hesitant about that. I ordered 2, same price as the beef, and they'll be ready about the same time. The thing is that I'll be getting whole chicken with skin and bones (no feathers or innards, phew). But I know how to make things with boneless skinless chicken breasts. DH and I both prefer white meat, and I don't know how to chop up a whole chicken or use it. So I'm getting these 2 chickens and will test to see how it goes. If it goes well, then I'll just need to find a pork place and stop eating out.

Oh, and I also wrote a letter to Chick-Fila. I'm not sure what to make of their response, because now I don't really trust the government. What do you think?

"In response to your question regarding the animal welfare practices of our suppliers, we purchase our chicken from various suppliers throughout the country. All of these suppliers have continuous USDA inspections.

"In addition, the National Chicken Council publishes a set of guidelines for the proper and humane raising and processing of chickens. All of our suppliers abide by these guidelines and some of them were instrumental in helping to develop these standards for the whole industry. "

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Meatrix

I've always had the impression that vegetarians are a little off their rockers. Why give up perfectly good food over animal issues that government agencies have under control? And why spend so much more money on "organic" foods? Only snobs would do that.

I just discovered today that I'm completely wrong. My DH (dear husband) would say, "Everyone in the country knew about this issue but you." I was innocently browsing some websites about natural gardening and came across a link to It was on a message board and someone asked if it was true that they really cut the beaks off live chickens. I was completely disbelieving, so I watched it. It's a very informative, non-gross, non-threatening cartoon. Watch it if you get a minute. After I watched it, I looked at a few more sites. The ones with the real photos.

It's awful. I'm not a flag-waver or a demonstrator or a protestor. But I did spend a year trapping feral kittens and taming them because I felt so bad for them living outdoors. What "factory farming" does to uncounted farm animals is so far bad beyond that that I can't even stand to think about it.

I haven't even researched to the part yet about how to avoid giving any of my money to the companies involved in this, but I know I won't voluntarily buy anything that contributes to them if I can help it. I don't understand why there isn't more coverage about this. Is there, and I just didn't know? Why doesn't the government put a stop to it?

I want to go and let all of the baby cows out of crates and take them back to their moms. And I want to let all of the chickens outside and let them have eggs that hatch and turn into little broods of chicks for them. I feel so bad for all of them.

Doh! My boss just walked in and thank goodness I wasn't crying, but I had to blink a few times before I looked at him.

Stupid asshole corporations that give us what we will pay for without telling us the real price. For a while I was thinking they should all get shot, but now I think they deserve the same kind of treatment they give their animals.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Catsup Packet Challenge

Next time you go through the drive-thru at McDonalds, ask them for one catsup packet. Stress that "one" is all you want. I bet that they'll give you one handful of catsup packets.

I am temporarily off my diet, I admit. Packing up all of my dishes and food for a month made it hard to eat healthy so I fell off the wagon. However, I still just order a small fries at McDonalds if I get fries, and each time I ask for one catsup packet. How much catsup does one small fries need? I think one packet is perfect, but they never give me just one packet. I ask (sometimes in spanish, it makes no difference) and they reach into the catsup packet container and come out with a huge handful of catsups, so huge that the packets are spilling out between their fingers. They carefully reach across the distance to me in my car where I have to accept the catsups in my two cupped hands.

Is this a perverse pleasure of fast food workers? Are they punishing me for eating fast food in their own way by inundating me and my car with catsups? What can I do with all of those catsups? Do they think I take them home and squeeze them into my jar of catsup? Do so many people ask for a handful of catsup that the people that work the window are forced to overcompensate to the rest of us that just want one or two? Super-size my catsup? I just want one packet of catsup. I guess I could say no thanks, but then I wouldn't get any. So, given a choice between a catsup famine and a catsup feast, I guess I'll choose the handful.

Any idea how long the catsup in the packets will stay good in my hot car?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

March Books (6/5)

I made a goal this year to read 60 books by the end of the year, and at least 5 books each month. Every month, near the end, I'll put up a list of the books I've read that month and maybe a few thoughts about them. Here's my March list:

Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong
Industrial Magic - Kelley Armstrong
Haunted - Kelley Armstrong
Guilty Pleasures – Anita Blake
Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris
Wolves in Chic Clothing – Carrie Karasyov, Jill Kargman

The first three books I read this month were by the author that wrote the werewolf books I read a few months ago. These were set in the same fantasy type world (where vampires and werewolves, etc exist) but had different main characters. We'd met them in the werewolf books, but in lesser roles. The first two books were about a witch the werewolves helped, and the last was about a ghost in the afterlife, trying to look out for her still living daughter (who is being cared for by the witch). They weren't anything amazing, but they were good and I enjoyed them.

Guilty Pleasures was a dark, noir-type vampire sort-of-mystery book. I thought it was okay, but I hear the series kind of goes downhill and so I'm not sure if I'm going to pursue it any more.
Dead Until Dark was a lighter-hearted vampire mystery book, set in the south. I liked it, and will probably read more of these when I get time.

Wolves in Chic Clothing was my utterly brainless book of the month. I thought it would be sort of "Sex in the City" and I was looking for something to listen to in the car. It was about a girl from California that gets in with a crowd of New York sophisticates, and how selfish and self-centered they are until they finally turn on her. It was all very formulaic and even more shallow than I was expecting. About the only thing the book has going for it is a clever title.