Mark Bittman has a good rundown about de-emphasizing meat in our diets. Here's a link to his article in the NYT.
Though this wasn't the main topic of the article, what struck me were some possible reasons someone may want to de-emphasize meat in his or her diet. He lists economic, ethical, altruistic, nutritional or even irrational reasons. I agree with all these, but the one that is probably most true for me is that I lost a lot of my taste for it.
After cutting down a year or two ago, guess what happened. I lost a lot of weight. Amazing.
The little girl, who just turned five and is well into kindergarten, has met the requirements and we're now eligible to join up with the YMCA's Adventure Guides.
I got a call from the coordinator of the local group, or tribe, I think it's called, inviting us to come to the next meeting. In fact, tonight is the first meeting of the new season. The meeting will be at his house starting at 7:30PM. He's just a couple blocks away, definitely within walking distance, for both of us.
I read up about it on the Adventure Guides program's website. It's mainly a way to foster deeper relationships between parent and child, in our case, it's a father daughter thing. It all looks good, but the C in the YMCA makes me a bit wary that this is some kind of fundamentalist religious organization hell bent on converting us to some dogmatic thought process. But I don't believe it will be that way. As long as that kinda stuff doesn't come up, I'm still in.
What I'm really looking foward to is meeting some new people in a new set of circumstances. I see that as a spice of life that always keeps things interesting. I'm also looking forward to spending time with my daughter, just the two of us, away temporarily from the rest of our family. We don't get a lot of that, especially since, or even though, there is a new baby in the house.
Some of the activities they mention on the website, which were also mentioned by the host, make me a bit nervous, such as performing skits. But the nervousness is usually overblown, or unwarranted, as the situation you're nervous about turns out to be a much less of a big deal.
On the other hand, there are activities I'd look more than forward to, like the camping trips. I feel like I'll be a huge pusher of the overnight trips to the woods. Hope others are up for it too!
I'll report back soon, after the meeting, to share my thoughts on how it went and if it will suit both my daughter and me.
Same day we went to the Taylor Creek site, we also spent time at the adjacent Tallac Historic Site, which was a getaway for rich folks from the San Francisco Bay Area early in the twentieth century. In addition to checking out the cool old cabins and such, we also spent some time at the beach.
The company was great too, spending time with cousins from down south, and being really glad they like to cook and are really good at it!
Yesterday we were heading back to the cabin in Kings Beach after a pleasant, but warm, afternoon at the beach here at North Shore Tahoe.
Driving down the little side road to get to the cabin, a couple of guys on bicycles were waving at us and pointing to a house we just passed. Through our open windows we heard one of them say "Bear!".
I caught a glimpse of the dark hued ursine turning a corner and meandering down a side yard between two cabins. I put the truck into reverse and powered in reverse back up the hill, stopping when we had a good view of the bear. Rita already had the camera ready, and through my open drivers side window I snapped the following picture.
There was no fear anywhere in the truck, nor from the guys on the bikes. Just excitement that such a magnificent creature could be encountered in the broad daylight of a relatively populated area. What went through my mind was that after all these years camping, backpacking in the Sierras, a long road trip through Yellowstone, Tahoe trips, etc, this was my very first sighting of a wild bear.