The Importance of a Symbol

In Owen-Withee there is a garden with my daughter’s name, Kyanna, on it.  On the surface it is easy to recall a 7 year old girl that died of brain cancer, simply because it has her name.  To a point a you would be right in thinking that.  It is a remembrance in a way, but it also a symbol of so much more that you don’t see and is lost.

It is not hard to find the bad in life.  It would seem that by looking at a news feed or even your Facebook feeds that there is bad all over.  Horrible things happening what seems like all the time.   There seems to be an endless supply of this news that we are fed and at least for me after so many years of it, you can get lost in that.   You can start to become more cynical and start to close yourself and may even start to believe all that you read or see in the news, because after all if there was good in the world we would surely hear about it, right?  The good is often overlooked or forgotten.  Finding a symbol of good things is even harder.

For anyone that has received an unfathomable amount of help, it changes you.  It changed me.   When you see people that have no idea who you are and are trying to help for no better reason than that they believe it is right thing to do, that leaves a lasting impression.   You are awed,  humbled, grateful, and can even be meant to feel unworthy of all that has been given to you.  Asking for help is just as hard as receiving it.

When I look at the garden in Owen-Withee I remember my daughter, however more importantly I remember all those that made that possible.  I remember people coming together to make something better, because they felt that a situation was wrong.  I see a symbol of people that care and are trying to make the world a better place.  I see people helping someone else in a time of need.  I see the good in people when I see that garden, and I remember there were many people that made that possible, they are the stars in our night sky.  Simply put, the garden reminds me of the goodness in humanity.  For me, it is a symbol and an embodiment of all things that are good in this world.  I hope when you look upon the garden you will see that as well.

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Flutter Buster Snowshoe Race

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Proceeds from this race will go towards the garden that is in front of the Owen-Withee Schools as well as the Kyanna Joy Darnell Flutter Buster Fund through Eau Claire Community Foundation.  If you are interested in going please fill out and return the form below.  If you are unable to make it for the race you can still make a tax deductible donation to the fund.  To donate click here.

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Simplistic Rules for Shopping

January is the time when many will spend a lot of money on things they perceive as healthy.  They will join gyms, buy equipment, and set lofty goals to do a 30, 60, or 90 day challenge; then once done will revert back to before and be back to where they started.   Ironically many do this year after year.  Health is not complicated; it is simple, you just have do it.  The thing that you have the most control over is what you eat and what you feed your family.  The following is what we do.  Really there are only two rules that I follow when I do the grocery shopping.

Rule #1: If it has sugar added to it, don’t buy it.  

Like every parent today, there has never been a time when I was worried that my children were getting enough sugar.  Manufacturers put sugar in almost everything, doubt me? Go and read the labels on the food in your home.  For as simple as this rule sounds, as you start to read labels, you will see how hard this is to follow.  Know that this also includes anything that is a sweetener which would include things like high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, honey, maple syrup, and all of the other natural and artificial sweeteners.  Why do this you ask?  This ties back to the Warburg Effect talked about in the last post.

Rule #2: If you can’t read it or don’t know what it is then don’t buy it.

Since you are already reading the label to see if it has sugar and you come across an ingredient that looks like it should be given in the national spelling bee, then chances are it is not all that good for you.  If you don’t know what the ingredients are then don’t buy it.  For me, if the list of ingredients is really long I don’t even bother to read them, I just put the item back.  The simpler the better.  The litmus test is being able to read the ingredients, however as you go along you will find many things are renamed or called something that is readable.   Be wary of descriptions that are vague–like natural favors, spices, or caramel coloring.   If need be take your phone out of airplane mode and search for the ingredient listed.

If you are trying to apply these rules at all times, then the places that you can eat out at and also the items that you can eat from there just became very, very small.  Traveling was and is the hardest thing to do because of the way we eat.   However, with a little forethought you can avoid having a hungry, angry family.