The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

20140115-084523.jpg

I picked up this book on accident. I use this app called Goodreads to remember which books I want to read next. I forgot to check it so I grabbed any book I found at hand and it just so happened to be this one.

A darkness which for ages has remained hidden has emerged and is reaching it’s long, bony hand towards the shire. Frodo Baggins, a hobbit or a halfling to some, was bequeathed with a ring from his adopted guardian Bilbo Baggins. Little does he know that this ring draws the Enemy nearer to the Shire. At the urging of a wizard renowned for his spectacular fireworks, Frodo and his friends journey to the elven city of Rivendell where they learn of the Ring’s secrets. Now faced with the biggest adventure of his life, Frodo must decide if he is brave enough to be the Ring Bearer.

Frodo is a main character that is easy to relate to because be starts off as an ordinary hobbit. He is a likable young hobbit who like any other hobbit doesn’t have a thought outside the Shire. Everything that happens afterward is completely unexpected and previously had nothing to do with him.

Considering that this is a fantasy fiction book, Tolkien works extremely hard to make the story believable. It is relatively easy to immerse yourself in the developed elf language and the history behind the characters and places that is presented.

Don’t let the 458 page count fool you, this book is a long read. It’s taken me months to finish it. Overall, however, the plot followed an attention maintaining story line. Just when you started to get bored of walking through the forest, Tolkien throws in some adrenaline pumping adventure. Be warned though…Tolkien has a meticulous style and will describe everything in detail. Everything. It’s worth it but just prepare yourself.

I didn’t find this book to be very philosophical, but it does delve into the inner thoughts and qualities that humans and other creatures share. If you’re looking for an entertaining book…this is it.

20140115-191913.jpg
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Training Chase

20130916-082033.jpg

Meet Chase. He’s our newest foster dog that we brought home on Tuesday, and you’ll never believe this, but…he’s already been adopted! Apparently Mom gives better sales pitches than she realized and found a coworker who has a friend that has been looking for a dog like Chase.

His new owner will be away from home for a few weeks, so we’re keeping him with us until they return. This is great news because Chase is less than a year old and has no manners!

I am faced with the daunting task of teaching a small dog (and you all know they’re much harder to train than other dogs) to have basic commands down in 10 days. I don’t want him turning into one of those snarly senior dogs one day. I guess I’d better get started.

So here’s how I’m going to go about doing this.
1. Sit
2. Come
3. Stay
4. Heel
5. Lie Down
These are the most basic commands that dogs will use every day and that are useful for keeping a dog from running out into the road. I want to work on these the most so that they are the most solid for when his owner comes back. In my house, we reinforce our dogs’ obedience by making them sit and wait (stay) before they are given their food. Chase still hasn’t quite grasped this idea, so this will be challenge # 1. We also make our dogs wait for us to go out the door first when beginning a walk. Given that Chase’s new owner is a bit older, this will also be a priority.

I think I will avoid the more complex commands of leave it, go to the crate, playing dead, rolling over, etc. there simply is not enough time.

On Saturday we discovered that Chase has an infatuation with kong toys. We also discovered that he does not much enjoy it when you take his favorite plaything away. Growling or snapping (which he thankfully hasn’t done yet) will absolutely not be tolerated so I plan on working on taking the toy away from him so that he doesn’t have a problem when his new owner decides he’s had enough chewing on the rubber toy.

Socialization to cats is important when his new owner has 3, so I’m going to work on keeping him calmer around the cats.

If you take anything away from this, remember to start training your dogs as young as possible so that they have basic manners. Even if they are small dogs, don’t let them jump all over you or be possessive of their toys. Dogs are much happier when you are the strong pack leader who will set down rules and make sure that they are followed.

Redirect

So, I originally started this blog to keep up with my writing skills during the summer and to chronicalize the happenings in an average high school senior’s summer. Unfortunately the idea became so overwhelming that I only posted a few times and did not accomplish any of these ideas.

Even now, I’m only writing this because I can’t think of a single thing that might be interesting enough for you to want to read about. I’m still in high school, so I feel that there’s nothing really that I could tell that would be interesting or that you haven’t done before.

I’ve been getting inspiration from this blog, write meg! who mainly posts book reviews. Lately though, she’s been adding personal anecdotes and updates mainly centering around her and her sister’s upcoming weddings. She is a delightful woman who has a job and a fiancé and can write about things that are interesting. I have high school, no job, and homework. Yay… (At least I have a boyfriend, right?)

Anyways, I’d like to change the purpose of this blog a bit. Instead of just reporting on my dull, day to day activities, I want to use it to show how interesting life can be. This is going to be difficult and daunting, so please bear with me. I’m new to this whole blogging thing but I really do want to get better. Thanks in advance if you stick along for the ride.

The Hobbit Diet

Eat three meals each day. No, eat six small meals each day. When it comes to feeding your body, the leading experts can’t seem to make up their minds about how often one should eat. Does it ever make you just want to throw the towel and eat whatever you want whenever you want?

Personally, I think the hobbits from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels had the right idea: eat often. Our vertically challenged friends from the beloved series eat around 6 to 7 meals per day. Among such activities as farming, blowing smoke circles, and enjoying a pint at the tavern, eating is a major priority. In fact, when Bilbo or Merry and Pippin get dragged off into an adventure, they lament at the absence of frequent meals.

What one rarely stops to consider is that we humans could perhaps benefit from eating often like the hobbits. It is well-known that hobbits lived to be about 100 years old or older. Could humans reap the same life span by eating like the hobbits? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating more meals throughout the day is associated with reduced or no obesity risk. When you eat regularly during the day, the body is more aware that more food will later be on the way and it has no need to store your recently consumed meal as fat. Instead it is more likely to burn the calories. Eating meals throughout the day could also help stabilize blood sugar and therefore energy level.

There is one catch however. If you were to eat 6 meals per day, you would need to control the portion of your meal. No weight will be lost if you frequently consume a plate piled a mountain high with food. You needn’t meticulously count each and every calorie but here are some guidelines to give you an idea:

Hobbit Diet

Try to avoid processed foods. Hobbits are farming folk who eat fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Add vegetables and fruits to your meals whenever possible (a bit of good food can’t hurt, right?). Drink tea (green tea is a great healthy option). It isn’t called “Afternoon Tea” for nothing. Hobbits also get outside and do things. They don’t sit inside and gorge themselves the whole day long. Try going for a walk (especially after a large meal) to help digest food and keep your body from storing it as fat. Hobbits quite famously go about without shoes. Humans can do this too; it’s a technique called “grounding.” You can learn more about it here.

Can’t think of any small, healthy meals? Here are some ideas:

  • An apple, a slice of cheese, and light popcorn (movie popcorn doesn’t count)
  • A grilled chicken sandwich with some vegetables (carrots are my favorite)
  • Smoothies!
  • Egg, slice of whole wheat toast and half a grape fruit or other fruit of some kind (a great meal for breakfast or second breakfast)
  • Pair a banana with another small snack

If you know of any small meal recipes, I would love to hear about them!

So this is the Hobbit Diet. This diet is not right for everyone. Sometimes there’s not enough time in the day to prepare or even think about eating that many meals. I’m a bored eater so I love this diet because it keeps me from being hungry and unknowingly devouring any sugar filled snacks in my pantry. Go ahead and try this diet. If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. But whatever you do, don’t shut yourself in a hole and ignore the quest for a healthy lifestyle. Get out there. Be adventurous.

Mario

mario

Consider Mario as the Mr. Darcy of cats. He is refined and reserved. It takes time for someone to earn his approval. Even after such approval is earned, he does not enjoy being carried around and would much rather take care of his own transportation. (Being carried by humans is considered undignified.) Despite this, he very much enjoys the company of other friendly cats. However, he does not openly show that he even cares for their presence. After time, his reserve will fade and he will begin to openly interact with them.

Dogs, considered completely below him, are another matter entirely and he would much prefer to not meet one again.

Mario passes the hours by lounging around the house on the bed, his perch on the scratching post, or his favorite spot: on top of his human’s clothes in the closet. He lies quite still for hours on end most likely contemplating the more complex ideas of the universe. On other occasions he meanders out the doggy door and onto the back patio. He does not stray from the yard but enjoys strolling around. In the evening when the family is in the living room watching television, he may stray into the room and gaze at the humans. If one calls his name and the person has earned his approval, Mario may go towards the person and perhaps allow them to be near him and pet his head.

Keeping with his refined persona, Mario only shows his affections during the cover of darkness when he may cuddle with you to his pleasing. It pleases him to lay right next to your head as you lay in bed and massage your neck with his paws. His loud purring may disturb your sleep, but that couldn’t possibly be bothersome. You are pleasing him and that is all that matters.

Could you be Mario’s Elizabeth Bennet?