Friday, June 8, 2012

Literary Friday: In The Garden of Beasts

I'm joining the Literary Friday with Ricki at Art@Home. This is her first week of her first linky party. I love it! I love to read and get new recommendations for books. 

This week I'm featuring a book I just finished by Erik Larson: In the Garden of Beasts. Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin.
 I received this book for a Mother's Day gift from my daughter Katie. It's a long standing joke in our home of my love/hate relationship with the Nazi's. I hate them, but I love to read about them. Go figure. It seems I'm not alone in this, there has been countless books written on the subject of WWII Germany, Hitler and Nazi's in general. I think the reason for the fascination is  because it's so hard to believe that a country of 65 million civilized people could descend into such evil. We WWII buffs are always searching for the answer, something clear and reasonable, but there isn't any justification it, was sheer evil it it's greatest form. 

Just when you think you have heard the worse or the more fantastic the Nazi's could be, you are always surprised, there is always new information. In the Garden of Beasts does not disappoint. I have always wondered about Germany in the early 30's when Hitler just became Chancellor, and the Nazi party was getting a foothold. How fascinating this case study is!!! 1933 a turning point in history. Hitler and his goons are manipulating through fear, terror and propaganda the German people and the world looks on in shock sure that this will pass and Germany will settle down. It's only been thirteen years since the Great War and the devastation of France. Europe is in economic disaster and the United States is advocating isolationism, they have their own problems with the Great Depression and Europe always seems to be in trouble. Let's let them figure this out with-out us. 

The world as a whole seems to be out of a job and starving yet the League of Nations ambassadors to various countries are spending lavish amounts of money trying to impress their host countries. It's all one big party for the politicians. American ambassadors were not chosen for their knowledge of current affairs or ability to represent their country's agenda, but for their ability to pay for lavish parties, homes and cars. That is why William H. Dodd being chosen by Roosevelt to go to Berlin as the American Ambassador in 1933 was so extraordinary. 

Dodd was neither rich or flamboyant. He drove an old Buick and taught history at the University of Chicago. He was a shy person and disliked the lime light. He and his wife were home bodies that hardly ever entertained. His greatest pleasure was going to his farm in Virginia and working on his manuscript The Old South. Why then was he chosen to go to the most pivotal European city, Berlin and represent the United States?  Can he make a difference in the United States attitude towards isolationism? Will he be able to convince the Pretty Boys Club back home that Hitler is a maniac and lier? 

Oh the fun you will have reading this book. Buckle up and be ready for a fast, scary ride through history. There are parts where you will be screaming WHY, WHY, WHY didn't they listen. You will experience first hand what it was like to be a German citizen with an opinion opposite that of the REICH. 

Once you have read this you will want to read all of Best Selling Author Erik Larsen's books. Fanatistic.

What I am currently reading:

Blood Feud the Hatfields & McCoys Epic Story of Murder and Vengence
by Lisa Alther
Totally enthralling so far!!

Next up on the To Be Read list:

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Can't wait to dive into this one!

Click picture to visit Puppy announcement


Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Puppies,Puppies & Puppies

Now you have!!!

Born 5/17/2012

Westie Pups
Out of Izzie sired by Malcolm

5 little kiddos

3 females and 2 males


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Weight Loss Journey...

O.K. I'm actually going to let it all out on my blog. Everyone likes a continuing story ,I didn't have one, but I do now. It's a risk doing this, but I know it is the motivation that will be so crucial for me to succeed. 
The picture above is me in the center with my four daughters taken Christmas Eve 2009 in my front yard. It's the most recent full length picture I have of myself. If you are like me I run from the camera.
I weigh about 230 in this picture and I'm 5'7.5". 
I have Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol
I am on 3 different medications everyday control these diseases.
I have chronic tendentious in my right ankle and can hardly walk when it flares up which has lately been more than less of the time.
It is very painful and very discouraging.
I know I'm in horrible condition I can't really exercise because of the pain.
I also know that all 4 of my health conditions are related to my weight!!!
On May 19th I went back east to see my new granddaughter and was there taking care of Mom and baby for 10 days. I worked my bottom off. I cooked, cleaned and canned dozens of jars of cherry and strawberry jam from the fruit in there enormous garden. 
While I was there my DH who is always trying to get his weight under control found Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live. He read it and by the time I got home he had cleaned out our whole kitchen pantry and fridge organizing this plant based diet. 
When he came to pick me up at the airport I was blown away, by how much smaller he already looked. I hadn't seen him in 10 days and that's not really a long time, but he was smaller, 8 lbs smaller especially in his stomach.
He couldn't wait to tell me all about this new way of eating and living. I will admit that it went in one ear and out the other on my way home from the airport. When I got home he fixed me one of the snacks and I was sort of impressed but I wasn't committing to any of this. I am so stubborn. This actually caused contention for a few days. 
Finally on Friday 2 days later I weighed myself and was surprised to see that I weighed 232.8. It was better than the 235 that I started out with at the beginning of the year.
For Friday I kind of haphazardly did the plan. I went out with my daughter Friday night and was ranting and raving about this stupid eating plan and I wasn't going to read the book.
Saturday morning June 2, I reluctantly weigh myself , only because my DH was insisting and was shocked to see that I weighed 230.8. I lost 2lbs in one day by sort of sticking to the plan and my early morning blood sugar was substantially lower.
That was all it took. From last Saturday until today I have stuck to this eating plan and read most of the book and this morning June 5, I weigh 226.6. I have lost 7lbs since last Friday and my blood sugar is almost normal which it hasn't been in 2 years. My ankle pain is complete gone and I think that is the best part. I can walk around all over the place with no problems. I can climb stairs with no pain. The water retention is gone in my hands and feet. My shoes are actually a little big now. I feel fantastic!
This eating plan is a miracle. We recently had a friend that went in for a gastric bypass and before his surgery was approved his Dr. begged him to read this book and follow the plan. He didn't he wanted the quick fix and I don't blame him at all. It was because of this that my DH got this book. 
I didn't really believe it, but it's true he says that you will be off all medication in first couple of months and I believe it. I have seen what this has done for my blood sugar and hypertension.
I just don't want to be 58 years old this year and another U.S.A statistic of overweight invalids. I just can't I want retire healthy and spunky.
It is for this reason that I am going to post regularly about my weight loss and the positive effects.
I encourage any of you that are in my situation with Diabetes, Hypetension, High Cholesterol and pains to purchase this book and study it.
The recipes are interesting. You will eat better than you ever have and not to be gross but your bowel movements will be much better and effective.
This all after 5 days for me. I look so forward to keeping up with this blog on my weight loss and improved health.
It is an aggressive but very healthy plan.
You are not hungry. The food works for you.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.