Fall at our House

October 19, 2014 § 2 Comments


This is the backside of our barn.229862_4016221489246_2133540427_n

Orsay

October 18, 2014 § Leave a comment


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Shaker Boxes

October 17, 2014 § Leave a comment


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Shaker Village

October 16, 2014 § Leave a comment


IMG_0508Shaker Village, aka Shakertown, also known as Pleasant Hill, KY, is located near Harrodsburg, KY. This is one of the original Shaker villages, which still stands. Although, there are no longer any Shakers the life style is preserved through interpreters in costume in the original buildings, 28 of which still stand, on the original site.

It was founded in 1806 and closed in 1910.

The village offers lodging in these same buildings and meals consisting of the fare that was once served in their dining halls. I have to comment that this is some of the best food that I have ever eaten, and they now have vegetarian choices on the menu. The tour of the village is self-guided. You will see craftsmen and craftswomen performing the same tasks that the Shakers once performed there. Some of these include broom making, weaving, spinning, sheep herding, oval box making, and hearth baking to name a few.

There are special events throughout the year as well as paddleboat excursions down the Kentucky River.

The United Society of Believers in the First and Second Appearance of Christ, or the Shakers, the name given to them by the outside world because of the dancing they did during their meetings, were a celibate religious sect, who followed the teachings of Mother Ann. Mother Ann, after having been in prison for disrupting a Sabbath, left England, bringing with her eight followers to the United States. She believed that carnal relations were the cause of most of the world’s troubles. Although she couldn’t even read or write, she started one of the largest and best know communal societies in this country. There were nineteen communities from Maine to Kentucky.

 

Let Them Eat Cake

October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment


“Let them eat cake,” a phrase most commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, supposedly spoken upon learning that the peasants had no bread. Cake being made with butter and eggs was more expensive than bread, and showed whatever royal figure said it was totally out of touch with the plight of the common people.  After seeing the many palaces of Paris, I am sure this is quite true.

By the same token, upon seeing the sheer magnitude of pastry shops, the French took this phrase to heart. I have a few friends who would like to make their residence in Paris. French pastries surely fits into the top ten reasons they would want to do so.

We could have taken more pictures of the food, but sometimes the sublime beauty of what was being served and our ravenous hunger after walking crowded Paris streets caused us to forget all about taking pictures of the food until we were half way through. By then it seemed too late.

The first place we discovered was by accident. It was called Boulangerie Paris Baguette. One might of thought first stop, pastry heaven. It was hard to choose. I went with creme brulee, one of my favorites.

When we stumbled across Boulangerie Paris Baguette, we were looking for some place for an early lunch, seeking out a particular vegan restaurant we had found online before making the trip. We quickly found that the eating habits of the French were quite different from ours. Restaurants may be open for breakfast. They may also serve lunch. They may stay open until around 5 PM. If they also serve dinner they may reopen at around 7 PM, although it seemed as if the prime dinner time was around 9 PM or 10 PM. Between the 5 and 7 PM period you could sit at a cafe and order drinks. Drinks might be wine, as was mostly the case, or espresso or tea, or cokes, warm with lemon.  Tea is not iced tea but a pot of hot tea, the restaurant or cafe offering a good selection. That could be one of my reasons for living in Paris, although not quite a strong enough reason in and of itself.

The vegan, mostly organic, restaurant we were in pursuit of was called Saveurs Végét’Halles. We ended up eating there twice. It was overall our best dining experience. Another totally vegan place we ate at was in Nice. It was called le Speakeasy. The lady who ran it was from California. The food was filling and healthy. I would have loved to know the woman’s story who ran it, but she was busy serving.

 

Nice is Nice

October 14, 2014 § Leave a comment


Okay, I’m still just a bit jet lagged. So please forgive the title of this blog.

A vacation for me isn’t a vacation without water or mountains, or just being in nature. So, leaving the city streets of Paris and seeing the Mediterranean Sea was a must for me. After all, we waited twelve years to travel to France. It could be our only trip to Europe together in this lifetime.

The views were sublime. Our hotel had a balcony facing the sea. The only drawback was that a road with plenty of noise stood between us and the sea.

 

 

Claude Monet’s Garden at Giverny

October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment


My favorite painters are the impressionists, and I love the quietness and solitude of nature. Thus, it is no surprise that Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny was my favorite place to visit while in France. Maybe that opinion might change if we had visited more than just the Paris and Nice vicinity.

All of the pictures are of the garden. No pictures were allowed inside the house, which was as richly colored in some instances as the garden.

We were there in early October, and I was both delighted and surprised to see such splendid color at this time of year. I can only imagine what it might be like in summer. It would be hotter and have more tourists. So, I think this was definitely the right time to go.

The Continuing Saga of Harry Potter

June 3, 2014 § 1 Comment


 

photoRecently we did a Harry Potter marathon. Neither Chris nor I had read the books, and we had forgotten what had happened in most of the movies. We recently celebrated our 12th anniversary, and our first movie date was Harry Potter. So, we decided to start from scratch and revisit the world of Harry Potter. We would either read the book or listen on audio, and then watch the movie together.

As we were doing that everything around us seemed to be coming up Harry Potter. You know how those coincidences work. We just happened to go to the post office, a rare thing, and on the door was a notice that they were selling Harry Potter stamps, the only thing on the door. I noticed that The Colbert Report made reference to Harry Potter on a couple of shows – the only shows I happened to watch during that time. One was in an interview with Patrick Stewart. Yes, and it does seem odd that he didn’t get a part in any of the Harry Potter movies.

I also thought why didn’t Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) get a role. I thought he could have had a bit part as a substitute teacher, doing roll call. He could have filled in for Lupin on the day he was turning into a werewolf. When he got to Potter, he would say, Potter, Potter, Potter (that would actually be a take off on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). Longbottom would say, “Sir, he is off fighting death eaters.” Atkinson, “Well if he survives tell him he must have an excuse from his parents.” Longbottom, “Sir his parents are dead.” Atkinson, that snarl he does.

This morning I was wondering what might have happened to all of the characters, especially Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. You know those facebook quizzes you take which asks which character are you? I actually don’t think they are very accurate. Ellen DeGeneres took one on which comedian are you and was someone else. I think I would definitely be Luna Lovegood, as I definitely follow the beat of a different drummer. I think Chris would be Neville Longbottom, because I see both as loyal friends, supportive, very capable although not taking the lead role, and as a character that exemplifies struggling into coming into his own and feeling very comfortable in his own shoes. I would like to think he and Luna are a good match.

My Memorial Day Weekend

May 29, 2014 § Leave a comment


 

It sounds like a report for school, doesn’t it? I guess the title of those is usually, “My Summer Vacation.” We are just getting into summer and the fun has only just begun.

It was supposed to be a quiet three-day weekend getting work done around the farm. I guess it was for the most part, but there were some minor events.

We opted to stay home, away from crowds, as we only less than two weeks earlier returned from North Carolina to babysit for our grandson. He’s nearing 2 ½ now and a handful, but we live to see him. My husband, whom he calls Opa, dreamed about him last night. All the grandparents live far away from him, so it is hard. I might be bragging in saying Opa is his favorite grandparent. It’s reasonable to assume, though since he plays with him almost 24/7 when we are there.

After the visit, we came home via Virginia Beach to celebrate our 12th anniversary. We splurged and stayed at the Hilton. It would have been perfect had it not been for the noise. There were tents sit up on the beach almost in front of the hotel. Shouldn’t they warn you about such things when you are making reservations? Outrageously loud Christian rock music played well into the night. It was so loud that closing the balcony doors, putting on the headphones that supposedly drown external noise out, plus turning on the television just as an experiment still didn’t squelch it. There was a tent that said, “Pray here.” I don’t think God could have heard anything. We stayed up as late as we could after they had packed up just so we could hear the ocean. The next morning we went down to the beach to meditate. At 7 AM more music started up. There is an amphitheater next to the hotel. Luckily, the next night, being Sunday, perhaps, was music free, and we got to hear the ocean. But this is really not about our weekend, is it?

Well, a bit of it is. That part happened while in North Carolina. There is a house close to our daughter’s that we always drive by, and in front sits the most beautiful rock wall. I just love rock. For quite some time I haven’t really been happy with the rock wall in front of our pond, mostly because of the concrete that was overwhelming the rock. So, this was going to be our weekend project, that and some plans to make the pond even bigger.

On Saturday morning my husband got the tractor ready, the big wagon attached, so that we could go out into the woods on the trail and collect rock. He got some really huge stones. Therefore, I just walked. There was no way I could lift rocks of this size.

I was just hoping, praying, for no mishaps. Maybe I should have been down in the prayer tent on the beach. My husband seems to think the tractor is his answer to Evel Knievel’s motorcycle. The things he does on that tractor really stresses me out. He thinks it’s funny. I don’t find it amusing at all. My stress threshold is much lower than his. We spent a good deal of time, maybe an hour, trying to get the wagon full of rock back up this steep hill because the tractor slid, and the wagon got wedged behind a tree. Prior to that while on level ground a tree had grown up along the trail, and the wagon had got caught. The solution was to cut down the tree. It was small. Then on the way home, there was yet another incident in which a Cedar tree just a little bigger than the small one also had to be cut to get the wagon through. Note: Neither of us feels good about cutting any trees down. They will be collected later to be used as firewood. The tractor and wagon full of rocks along with us finally made it back in one piece. And, towards the end of the day, the wall had progressed a good way.

After all the stress, and it was mainly my husband’s idea, we drove a fair distance to Starbucks. Right beside Starbucks, one of my most favorite places is Home Depot, one of my husband’s favorite places. We needed cement to put behind the rock wall.

The next day consisted of using a scoop on the tractor and going down to the creek to gather up creek gravel. This is most perfect for mixing with the cement. The first trip went okay. I lagged behind on the second trip. After a while I trekked back down to the creek to find my husband once again stuck in the creek. Well, he wasn’t really stuck, but he couldn’t get back up the way he came. There is a ledge he has to get over, and it was just too wet to do it. He kept digging himself deeper and deeper into the mud. So, we went the long way around, me following on foot. Except for capping, now with the creek gravel and cement the wall was nearly finished. We spent a quiet evening at home. We had some wine.

On Monday, there was more work on the wall. By mid afternoon we took a break and went out for Mexican food. I had a margarita. On the way back we stopped at a greenhouse that sold koi. I wanted to put koi in the pond. They were about six inches I think. So, we bought a variety of five along with some fish food and a couple of water plants. The total cost was sixty dollars, really reasonable I thought. There was something déjà vu about that whole experience. From time to time I feel that I am remembering the whole event even though it is supposedly the first time it has ever happened. For some time I have felt like I have been going through time loops. But then that is a whole different story.

So, we have the fish in bags of water on our way back home. I am cracking into green tea mints, which used to be my favorite mint. I say used to be because suddenly I find I have something other than the mint in my mouth – bits of a tooth. It wasn’t really tooth, but rather porcelain or whatever the dentist used to repair a similar incident around ten years ago – the same tooth. Luckily there is no pain. I am putting off calling the dentist, but I will by next week, as I have to go in for a cleaning anyway. I probably shouldn’t blame the mints. I should blame the prayer I said just a few days ago. I finally broke down, and said, “God, would you please help me lose weight.” Well, I wasn’t really doing anything proactive on my part regarding this prayer, so I figure God intervened by maybe chipping my tooth. I was resigned to not eating, or mostly only drinking. That lasted for about a day. I am letting it be known now, that I am withdrawing that prayer, as I have found ways around the eating situation since I’m not in any pain. I’m a firm believer in prayer and I don’t want any more incidents. On a brighter note, I have fixed some great soups all week.

So, I will continue with the koi. We put the koi in the pond. The water is a little murky. We don’t see them after the first day. I spent a good deal of time on Tuesday looking for them and putting some food in that just got waterlogged and sank to the bottom. I noticed the absence of frogs in the pond. I asked my husband if there could be a turtle, to which he said no, just like he says no, when I ask him isn’t that hill to steep and slick to go down with the tractor? On the next day, we are out in the yard. I am doing yoga in front of the pond. I look up and see something between the pond and pergola. I ask my husband, “What is that.” It was a rather large something in the grass. Sure enough, it was a turtle. In the pond there is a white fish floating on the top. It has some bloody holes in its body. The other four fish we still can’t see. I’m figuring the turtle swallowed them whole, and the white one tried to make a run for it.

My husband gets a snow shovel to lift it into a water-filled bucket, a huge tub rather, deep enough that it can’t get out. By the next day after work, he takes it down to the creek on the back of the tractor. I see him walking back. I ask, “Where is the tractor?” He says it’s close. He had run out of gas. Yes, the tractor does have a gas gage on it. I would bang my head against the wall but I already had a headache from the wine I had drunk at dinner (second night in a row). I know there are a lot more serious problems in the world. So, I will be thankful for the small problems I have.

So, that was basically our Memorial Day weekend, the beginning of our summer vacation. I did think about naming this, “My Memorial Day Weekend or my Descent into Alcoholism.”  I just want to let you know drinking is really rare for me.

The rock wall minus capping stones.

The rock wall minus capping stones.

 

The Turtle

The Turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opa in concert with our grandson

Opa in concert with our grandson

 At Virginia Beach. Someone told us we looked rested.

At Virginia Beach. Someone told us we looked rested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footnote:  I would have added a picture of the fish, but, well, they didn’t make it.

Weekend

April 28, 2014 § 2 Comments


On Friday I attempted a Thai curry. I was pleased as was Chris. On Saturday and Sunday we worked on plowing and tilling the garden, Chris on the tractor, me behind the tiller. Each year we make it bigger.

The long hard winter and deer did a number on some of last year’s plantings. We worked on planting shrubs around the house. I’m thinking more shrubs and small trees of differing colors and less flowers as they are more work is the way to go. I’m hoping that will be easier maintenance.  The greenhouse is now getting functional to some degree. Now to keep the deer out of the garden. We haven’t quite worked that out yet.

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Rainy Day and Spiraled Veggies

April 25, 2014 § 2 Comments


We woke up to rain this morning, not a bad thing since it fills our cisterns. It’s not a great day to go out. My husband wants me to come pick him up from work since it’s Friday, but like I said, not a great day to go out. I responded, “Why do I want to go out? I have my chai. I have my new spiralizer, and a refrigerator full of veggies.”

Last night I tried it out for the first time. I made a potato casserole. I didn’t want to stop there so I spiraled a cucumber and added a salad. The spiralizer worked great with the potato, but not so great with the cucumber, I guess because the cucumber was so watery. I couldn’t get a good grip on it, but still it turned out. I can’t wait to make chips with it, possibly beet and sweet potato chips today.

I found a blog dedicated to spiraling vegetables:  http://www.inspiralized.com/

I don’t have the same spiralizer that is on the blog, but I’m pleased thus far with the one I got. I will test it some more before posting the brand.

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Pumpkin Bread and Tea

April 2, 2014 § 2 Comments


Second day of just having juice and only raw foods.  Incredible headache. It must be chai withdrawal. I am having green tea and still cooking for my husband. Several weeks ago we visited and Indian and Asian grocery store. I found this tea pot there and love it. My husband is amazed, as I am, at the lower prices in international grocery stores. The bread pictured is pumpkin. I’m still working on breads.photo

Happy Vedic New Year

April 1, 2014 § 2 Comments


Today is a day of juice, water and raw food fasting for me. I just thought it would be a good day to fast. On the other hand my husband’s dinner is a black bean burger and sweet potato fries. This is my first time making a black bean burger from scratch. It’s decent but not perfection. I had one yesterday. I will keep working on it. As for the juice I threw everything in – parsley, apples, carrots, cabbage, red bell pepper, beets, celery, and romaine lettuce.  I’m still hungry.

 

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2014

January 27, 2014 § 6 Comments


Happy New Year Everyone!  Perhaps a little belated.

One of my goals for the new year is to learn new things.  That can apply to a variety of different subjects.  One is bread making.

I love bread, especially organic seeded bread, which we have been purchasing at Whole Foods – expensive – in more ways than one, considering we are 1 1/2 hours away from Whole Foods.  Sometimes I opt for the Trader Joe’s variety, but I try to go for as few ingredients and ones I can pronounce, therefore, Whole Foods won out in the bread category.

This is the year, though, that I decided to break down, bite the bullet, and learn to make my own bread from scratch.  It has been trial and error.  I’m learning about yeast, for one thing.  Maybe it’s the fact that I started this whole endeavor in the midst of one of the biggest cold fronts in history.  It has been below zero several times over the last few weeks.  I did discover a feature on my oven that has come in most helpful.  It is something called Standard Proof.  Yeah!

My ingredients thus far has been:  bread flour, spelt flour, yeast, olive oil, sea salt, sugar, sometimes butter in lieu of the oil, and various seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, and sesame, all organic.  On two loaves I omitted seeds and added raisins and cranberries.

I’ve been watching lots of youtube videos on bread making.  Any suggestions are most helpful.  One of the best things is nothing really goes to waste, as my husband will even eat what I consider my flops, and tell me how great they are.

One of the best things is thatPictured below are two of my attempts.

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Some Scenes From Summer

August 1, 2013 § 4 Comments


Some pictures my husband took the other day:

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Front Yard – A Lot of Work for Some Simple Leisure

July 22, 2013 § 11 Comments


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Ponds and Waterfalls

July 15, 2013 § 10 Comments


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20130715-124720.jpgThese are pictures of our front pond.  On July 4th we began digging to extend it a little.  Our ponds are always evolving, hopefully not devolving.  Several years ago we saw the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon.  That has always been such an inspiration.

Chips Ahoy

July 13, 2013 § 6 Comments


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20130713-191957.jpgWe were outside eating dinner and Chris said chips ahoy, thus the title.  I can fix some weird dinners.  Tonight it was Bocca chicken patties with a chutney sauce along with kale chips, zucchini chips, and potato chips inspired by http://theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com/  In my opinion the ingredients for successful chips are parchment paper, sea salt, mixed pepper, a little olive oil, and nutritional yeast.  I did not use it on the potato chips as they were good alone, and that would have been overkill.

This year or at least this summer we are living a little more off the land.  The kale, zucchini, and potatoes came from our garden.  Our lunch of a salad consisted of lettuce and cucumbers from the garden, and the blackberry cobbler we had for dessert from yesterday’s post was made from blackberries picked on the farm.  We picked a new batch today.  That was going well until the tractor (we were also working on the trails as we went along) disturbed a yellow jacket nest.  I was stung only once luckily.  It still hurts.  Most fortunately Chris wasn’t stung at all.  He is highly allergic.  While out picking, though, a new idea for the farm came, “Blackberry Fields Forever.”

The peaches are small, but it is the first batch ever from our peach tree.  Earlier we had some blueberries from a very small bush that we have.  The birds kept getting the later yields.

 

Blackberry Farm

July 12, 2013 § 9 Comments


20130712-190840.jpgOur farm has so many wild blackberry bushes, that I’m considering naming it Blackberry Farm.  I have yet to run this by Chris.  Above is my first blackberry cobbler of the season.  We picked blackberries until almost dark last night.  The recipe is below.  I had to substitute brown sugar as I was out of white.  It still tasted great.  Now to make some homemade vanilla ice cream with the next batch.

EASY BLACKBERRY COBBLER

1/2 c. butter

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2/3 c. milk

1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen blackberries, thawed  (I probably used three cups of fresh blackberries, as I like lots of berries.)

Melt butter in a 2 quart casserole. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk in a small mixing bowl, mix well. Pour mixture over melted butter, do not stir. Spoon blackberries over batter; do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

July 10, 2013 § 8 Comments


Last night Chris picked blackberries which we had for breakfast. This morning I picked some kale and lettuce adding zucchini, cucumbers and potatoes from the garden. My goal is for us to eat this today. I’m thinking salad and a veggie casserole.

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Kale Kreations

June 13, 2013 § 3 Comments


20130613-200429.jpgWhen the garden overflows with kale one has to think of many uses.  Tonight it was kale pesto.  There was also basil, olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and garlic included in the recipe.

While Out Walking Today

June 12, 2013 § 9 Comments


I happened upon a baby deer.

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Portobello’s

June 11, 2013 § 3 Comments


This past weekend we ate at Mellow Mushroom.  We ordered the portobello mushroom appetizer.  It inspired me to try a similar version.  Their’s definitely looks prettier on the plate.  Some of the ingredients they used were artichokes and sun dried tomatoes along with spinach, mozzarella, feta cheese, spring mix of lettuce and balsamic vinegar.  I also used artichokes, but with regular tomato slices, and mozzarella cheese.  Along side that I sauteed squash, red bell peppers, zucchini, and polenta.  I did use balsamic vinegar.  I was planning on a mixed salad to pretty up the plate, but a big downpour started, so I opted out on going out to the garden to gather lettuce.  20130611-083857.jpg

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Sidetracked by Summer

June 10, 2013 § 10 Comments


I begin the trail in from our back yard.  This is our fish pond in back.

I begin the trail in from our back yard. This is our fish pond in back.

I tend to become missing in action from the world of blogging at times, particularly in times when the great outdoors calls.  In most instances it is just my backyard calling.  On nice days I even move my yoga mat outside to the grass.  But today it is raining.

I have been taking pictures intermittently while out on the trail.  Soon we hope to do a time lapse version.  After a good rain, which may be the case now, would be the best times as the creeks and waterfalls should be active.  Currently they are rather bland.  However there are pros and cons in both cases.  Dry creeks make rock hunting much more favorable.

Below are some trail pics and sights along the way.

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Kale

June 4, 2013 § 7 Comments


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From just one stalk of kale, that I just pulled from the garden tonight.

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Actually we have so much kale coming out of our garden that I had to get inventive. I’m now using it as a centerpiece. I could do the same for the lettuce.

Trail Time

May 30, 2013 § 16 Comments


20130530-091320.jpgWe have been spending time working on the trails around our house.  We hope to get most of it to the point where we can take the tractor in for easier maintenance.  There will be some rerouting to follow in order to get the tractor though, as we don’t wish to cut any trees.  Possibly we could get 70% of the trail tractor worthy.

Yesterday I walked the entire length of what we have in trails thus far, tracking it with GPS, and20130530-091401.jpg20130530-091433.jpg20130530-091345.jpg20130530-091418.jpg taking pictures only a short distance of the way.  There are some very steep hills, and as you can see it took me a while.  I was so exhausted.  Eventually, and hopefully soon, we want to make a time lapse movie of the trail.

Our dogs, Barney and Binka walk with me, but even they got wore out before completion yesterday.  I found them waiting for me back at the house.

Yesterday’s Picks

May 29, 2013 § 3 Comments


We planted a lot of kale.  Hope to make some kale chips today.  I used the cilantro which is growing back from last year’s plantings in some hummus which was for lunch along with the salad greens picked the day before.  And for supper I tried to make an eggplant lasagna.  It was great, but I’m not sure I would term it lasagna, other than the fact that it was layered.  I would call it a casserole.  It consisted of eggplant, potatoes, onions, portabella mushrooms and cheese, which we were able to enjoy outside.  We have so much lettuces, kale and spinach.  It looks like they might be included in every meal.

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From the Garden

May 28, 2013 § 3 Comments


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20130528-104831.jpgThe various lettuces were picked from our garden yesterday.  There was also some cilantro in there, which came back from last year, and something we are confused about.  My husband says he planted spinach there, but it doesn’t look like spinach.  I think it might be chard.  I made it into a wrap adding some cream cheese, flax tempeh, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach tortilla, and homemade quacamole.

A Pleasant Day Out on Christmas Past

May 26, 2013 § 5 Comments


img_3391As I stay up late with my husband who is working on a kitchen cabinet, I’m finding more stuff about Shakertown that I had previously written.  This is regarding a trip we took around Christmas time 2009.

Yesterday my husband and I went on a fact-finding mission to ascertain whether Shakertown would be a good location for a retreat – a silent yoga/meditation retreat with room enough to accommodate 150 people. There is no question that Shakertown or Pleasant Hill, Kentucky is one of the most spiritual, serene, and peaceful of places for such a retreat. However, the question was whether or not certain aspects of the facility would be suitable for the programs of this particular retreat.

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We awoke to a thin layer of snow and twenty degree weather and got a later start than intended. That was a good thing after seeing three or four wrecks along the interstate on the way down. We ate a very light breakfast at home, thought about stopping in Lexington for lunch, but opted going straight to Shakertown to take care of business first. Lunch there was fully booked. We talked to some of the staff and walked around the premises for a couple of hours, as well as drove to some of the outer buildings.

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Spiral Staircase in Trustee’s Building

Everything seemed to work in a synchronistic order. We were given a key to one of the rooms above the dining area in the Trustee’s Building. This particular room didn’t have trundle beds, which a lot of the rooms do. We were told the meeting rooms were in use. Still we ventured on foot to the main meeting room where we found people we knew, or people I knew. The meeting going on was that of Friendship Spinners. We were invited in and offered food. I talked to people I had previously done arts/crafts shows with and introduced them to Chris. This was a pleasant surprise. They urged me up to the second floor, which maybe I should have said no to. There were plenty of yarns and handmade items for sale. I bought a shawl type wrap, hand woven. The lady said something about the amount of work that went into it, to which I replied that I was a weaver. She said then you know, to which I said yes. This morning I awoke with the idea of knitting something similar or perhaps even weaving my own version.

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Side View of Centre Family Dwelling

 

There is plenty of walking and fresh air to take in at Shakertown. We walked to Meadowview Barn, another alternative meeting area. This was an old tobacco barn renovated for this purpose. Still it is rustic to say the least. I was told over the phone that the floor was dirt. I personally kind of liked this idea; however, we found in actuality that the floor had a small gravel covering. The barn had electricity but we didn’t see lights. Also, where were restroom facilities? We walked at least a fourth of a mile from the main village of Shakertown to this barn. Not having restrooms there was a definite con.

There was still another meeting room to check out. As with the first, this was also too small and too far away from the main village. Walking to it would be out of the question for most. My guess is that it was a full mile away from the village proper.

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Our last check was the summer kitchen, which was locked up. It was also too small and perhaps too dark. It would probably only seat fifty at one time.

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Ducks by the Pond

There was one last stop to make – the craft shop. I had been thinking of a particular craftsman a few days before making this trip. I don’t know if it was the thought of Shakertown that brought him to mind or intuition, or both. When we entered the shop, Mr. Kramer was present giving a demonstration on making Shaker boxes. Many years ago probably the same time of year I was also there with my loom along with him and one other craftsperson doing a demonstration. Perhaps this was some memory triggered inside of me, which caused me to think of him prior to going. It also turned out that he had gone to Scotland on a group trip with someone from my hometown and wanted me to say hi. I will be sure to do that.

After two hours walking the premises we left for Lexington. By this time we were starving. The traffic and parking situation was horrific. Chris had Mexican in mind, which I actually did too, only we were thinking different restaurants. We drove up to one he was thinking about. This particular restaurant was about the only place there was parking. My intuition, which Chris always trusts, said no, so we moved on to the mall. We ate at the one I was thinking of that we had never tried before. At first it looked like vegetarian was going to be hard, but the waitress started naming off all these things. I had told Chris I wanted the very thin tortilla chips. That’s what they had. The food was excellent. I had spinach and avocado enchiladas with cheesy mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, different for a Mexican restaurant. I could have eaten a whole plate of the broccoli for lunch. The mashed potatoes inspired me. Therefore I’m going to try them today with asparagus and roasted tofu and vegan mushroom gravy.

The next stop was the Comfort Zone. On a previous trip I had one of those twelve-minute acupressure massages, and it greatly relieved the sciatica I have. I talked Chris into going for it too. It greatly helped both of us. While waiting in line I overheard one girl say this was the best twelve dollars she had every spent. I would have to say it certainly is at the top of the list.

We can’t make a trip to Lexington without going to Whole Foods. After that it was a stop at Starbucks and onwards towards home. At Starbucks they had an espresso machine greatly reduced. This is something Chris has wanted for at least a year. I brought his attention to it. The lady working there said at a nearby Starbucks there was a much better one also on sale. While the manager was telling Chris about it I was telepathically thinking throw in a free bag of coffee. Chris ended up buying it and the guy said I’ll give you a free bag of coffee. As we drove away, Chris said he was also thinking the same thing while he was talking.

It ended up a nice venture out, a little expensive, but then we don’t exchange gifts at Christmas. So, this with my hand woven item, Chris’s espresso machine, and our trip to Whole Foods we had our gifts.

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Buggies

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Shakertown Walkway

Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, KY

May 25, 2013 § 2 Comments


shakertown10Last night we found ourselves on Harrodsburg Road going to Asian Wind, one of our favorite restaurants in Lexington.  As we were driving I said that we might as well go on to Shakertown.  We haven’t been in a couple of years.  We didn’t, but perhaps this summer we can make time.  It would be a good hiking place.

Shakertown, also known as Pleasant Hill, KY, is located near Harrodsburg, KY. This is one of the original Shaker villages, which still stands. Although, there are no longer any Shakers the life style is preserved through interpreters in costume in the original buildings, 28 of which still stand, on the original site.

It was founded in 1806 and closed in 1910.

The village offers lodging in these same buildings and meals consisting of the fare that was once served in their dining halls. I have to comment that this is some of the best food that I have ever eaten. The tour of the village is self-guided. You will see craftsmen and craftswomen performing the same tasks that the Shakers once performed there. Some of these include broom making, weaving, spinning, sheep herding, oval box making, and hearth baking to name a few.

 

There are special events throughout the year as well as paddleboat excursions down the Kentucky River.

The United Society of Believers in the First and Second Appearance of Christ, or the Shakers, the name given to them by the outside world because of the dancing they did during their meetings, were a celibate religious sect, who followed the teachings of Mother Ann. Mother Ann, after having been in prison for disrupting a Sabbath, left England, bringing with her eight followers to the United States. She believed that carnal relations were the cause of most of the world’s troubles. Although she couldn’t even read or write, she started one of the largest and best know communal societies in this country. There were nineteen communities from Maine to Kentucky.

Shakertown has always been one of my favorite places to visit.

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The Trustees’ Office, built from 1839-1841, was where business with the world was conducted. The deacons and trustees of the village welcomed travelers and visiting Shakers here. The building is now used for dining and overnight lodging.

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One of the twin spiral staircases in the Trustees’ Office. This along with their building construction attests to superb Shaker craftsmanship.

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The forty-room Center Family Dwelling, the largest of all the structures, stands in the center of Shaker Village. Families in the religious community were divided into groups. The center family was the main family. The building now serves as a museum housing original Shaker furniture and implements they used in their daily lives.

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The West Family Dwelling housed what was considered to be the west family. You will note two doors. There was a division between the males and females; and, they always entered the dwelling places separately. There were also separate stairways within. There were other communities, such as East and North, within the larger community as well. The children were kept in another dwelling where school was conducted. Workshops stood behind each family dwelling.

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Much of the food and herbs served in the dining restaurant is grown on the village grounds.

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The larger building is the water house. A water tank was placed on the second level operating by gravity. The smaller structure was a bathhouse. The Shakers were quite modern for their time.

Pictured below are some of the gentle rolling hills and horses pull carts during the village hours showing visitors the grounds.

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Excavation still continues to unearth where structures once were.

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Eating in Asheville

May 24, 2013 § 3 Comments


My Rendition of Laughing Seed Cafe

My Rendition of Laughing Seed Cafe

We love the flavor of Asheville, North Carolina, – mostly their mountains, shops and vegetarian/vegan restaurants.  It was our anniversary destination and on route to seeing our family, mainly our grandson.

Upon arriving in Asheville, one of the first things we did after settling into our hotel was to go to Laughing Seed Cafe.  It was a late anniversary lunch before our challenge walk to Grove Park Inn from downtown.  We would need all the fuel we could get for what turned out to be a 8.22 mile walk in rain.

We ate at Laughing Seed twice before departing Asheville.  It was the first thing and the last thing we did.

 

Chilled Apple Carrot Soup

Chilled Apple Carrot Soup

Indian Pakoras

Indian Pakoras

Havana Cuban

Havana Cuban

Omega Hempnut Burger

Omega Hempnut Burger

Hodgepodge

May 23, 2013 § 4 Comments


An Impressionistic Take on Our Overgrown Lawn

An Impressionistic Take on Our Overgrown Lawn

Today it must be yard work.  I woke up feeling yard work calling….exterior decorating.  While in meditation this morning the term interior decorating came to mind.

The yard had become a jungle while we were gone.  So, the first task was to mow, after a day of rest from the trip.  I so love spending time with my grandson, but a toddler can be exhausting.  And, I was totally exhausted.  I guess it was also all the walking and hiking too.  My daughter and I walked together the morning we left.  It was all I could do to keep up with her.

Yesterday I discovered the special effects that you can create on Iphoto.  Yes, after all this time I figured out a few things on the computer.

 

A Picture Taken a Few Summers Ago

A Picture Taken a Few Summers Ago

This picture reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting.

This picture reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting.

 

We have a day outing.  We take Wynn to the Remedy Diner.  He loves the fake crab, avocados and fries from my plate.  It’s all vegan.securedownload

Chris has the unreal hot dogs.securedownload-1From there we go to Pullen Park.
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 He rides the train.20130523-091934.jpg

Before coming home it’s Starbucks where it’s time for a clothes change as well as fraps.  Wynn had orange juice, even though we texted a picture to his mom with Chris’s drink in front of him.  She freaked, exclaiming you are not giving him coffee!  No, we were just kidding.20130523-092049.jpg

After wanting to stay in bed for most of the day on Sunday I am revived to go see the new Star Trek movie.  Ok, clean off the porch is also on the agenda for the yard work.  The dogs had kicked a flower pot over while we were away.20130523-091953.jpg

The Challenge

May 22, 2013 § 1 Comment


photoMost people say I have a competitive nature. It’s not necessarily competing against other people, because in that category I really don’t stand a chance.  It’s more like competing with myself.  It’s about doing something when people say I can’t do something.

We had limited time in Asheville.  Upon arrival we enjoyed this great early dinner at Laughing Seed.  It is a vegetarian restaurant almost across from our hotel.  It is one of our favorite places to eat.  We also love the hotel we stayed at, The Haywood Park Hotel.  It is located in the heart of downtown Asheville and has some significant history.  It was Asheville’s first department store in the 1930’s, and still carries much of that flavor.  In 1985 it was converted to a hotel with only 33 rooms – large rooms.  I love large rooms because I always take my yoga mat.  At least 3 people could have done yoga easily in that room, and we got the smallest room.  We had stayed there a year ago, and had a great room with a great view.  Coincidentally, we were given the same room, without requesting it.  We were on second floor – men’s ware.  The voice in the elevator still says that.  We took some great pictures both years, so I will compile and post more about the hotel later.

We had contemplated The Grove Park Inn, but it would require some driving into and out of town, plus the fact it was much more expensive, and the room would have been much smaller.  Still yet we wanted the Grove Park Inn experience, at least a little part of it.  So, my idea was to walk from town, supposedly a 5 mile trek round trip, mostly steep uphill getting there.  We asked the waitress at Laughing Seed about walking it.  She strongly recommended driving.  Basically she said you can’t walk it.  I asked if there were sidewalks the whole way, to which she said yes, but still don’t attempt walking it.  We went back to the hotel and asked at the desk.  We got the same advice.  We left for Grove Park Inn, my husband following my determined lead.  We are notorious for getting lost.  I asked someone not too far into the trek if we were headed in the right direction.  This was a young guy who hiked.  Maybe it was our age.  He said, that way, but you can’t walk it.  At this point it was really a challenge.  Not too far out of town it began raining.  No umbrella.  It was a light rain, and we were supposedly closer to the hotel at this point than to town, and I wasn’t about to turn back.  But, we took a wrong turn, going through a long tunnel.  So, we had to back track.  The total trip instead of being a little over 5 miles registered  8.22 miles on my phone GPS.

Grove Park Inn Waterfall View

Grove Park Inn Waterfall View

A Blurry Us at Grove Park Inn
A Blurry Us at Grove Park Inn

 

Back to Blogging

May 21, 2013 § 4 Comments


20130521-092836.jpgIt’s kind of hard now to make myself even open the computer.  We’ve been away for over a week.  I took my computer, but not once on the trip did I open it.  I basically just used my phone for information and directions, and to count miles walked.

Our first stop was Asheville, North Carolina.  We love that town.  We were celebrating our eleventh anniversary. There is lots of hiking, and walking in general.  There are lots of good vegan and vegetarian eating places.

There are great shops.  And, there is lots of chocolate.  We particularly enjoy French Broad Chocolates.  That was basically our dinner every night, after having a great breakfast and lunch and lots of hiking and walking.

Above, is my rendition of the tea and creme brulee I was enjoying.  I usually don’t eat eggs, but sometimes I make an exception.

 

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Potato Patch

May 9, 2013 § 13 Comments


We got carried away with our potato patch this year, so we hired expert help.

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Rear Window View

May 9, 2013 § 4 Comments


It’s been really rainy here.  After the rain this was the view off our back deck the other night.

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The First Bite is the Hardest

May 8, 2013 § 22 Comments


At 9:30 AM this morning I came off my juice fast which was 3 days.  You could say four days if raw food can be included since I had a salad and a banana the first day.  I went through lots of detox symptoms.  I waited until later in the morning to eat because I just wasn’t hungry.  I made orange juice in the juicer this morning.  Then when I ate I had toast with coconut oil and green tea.  To satiate my desire for food, I found an outlet in cooking for my husband.  I even made him homemade ice cream, not even a lick for myself.

One of the dishes I made my husband.

One of the dishes I made my husband.

The above dish is oven baked french fries, topped with cheese, tomatoes, and green onions.

Sadly, I don’t own my weight.  I step on the scales in the morning, and my husband looks and records it inside an envelope.  He said I lost 5.1 pounds over all.  My husband can eat and eat and eat and not gain a pound, that is as long as he works a lot outside, which he is always doing.  In fact he stepped on the scales to find he had lost ten plus pounds.  There is almost never leftovers in our house.

Herbal Tea

Herbal Tea

We even went to Starbucks.  While my husband had his frap, I had herbal tea.  I think that is allowed on a juice fast.  Also, wouldn’t you know that they would be having the half price fraps now.  I hope to take advantage of that one in four days, when I come off my dairy fast.  I’m just not into soy drinks.

I’m really kind of sick of green juices at the moment.  This was the juice I sipped on yesterday throughout the day.  It had a variety of things, but mostly spinach.

Green Juice

Green Juice

 

3 Day Juice Fast

May 5, 2013 § 9 Comments


My daughter and I began a three day juice fast today.  I kind of started yesterday, but added salad and a banana into the mix.  It’s hard to pass up the sprouts I made.

The beginnings of my juice this morning.

The beginnings of my juice this morning.

Finished product - my husband's breakfast in the background

Finished product – my husband’s breakfast in the background

My daughter's morning juice

My daughter’s morning juice

Salad with sprouts

Salad with sprouts

 

This and That

May 2, 2013 § 9 Comments


20130502-135931.jpgIt’s May and time for another resolution.  In March it was about yoga.  In April it was about walking.  Thus far I’m on track with both of those resolutions, and there were a few times I really had to make myself keep them up.  So, what for May.  I have a seriously bad dairy habit.  I over indulge with the chai lattes.  So, I’m doing my best to give up dairy for the next ten days.  I’ve managed almost two days now.  So, technically, I’ve been vegan for these two days.

I’ve been away from blogging for a few days.  It’s just too nice outside.  I’ve started to walk the trails again and mow the lawn, etc.  My husband is really more of the gardener than I am.  I love flowers but we have a real problem with our dogs trampling over them and making 20130502-182751.jpgthem into a bed.  We’ve tried a few things, mostly fishing line, which really didn’t work.  During meditation an idea popped into my head about how to solve the problem.  We laid out fencing over the flowered areas just high enough that it would create a problem for them to run through it.  It would be uncomfortable for them to lie in.  The flowers could grow through it and fairly soon into the growing season wouldn’t even be visible, or at least too visible.

 

With the nicer weather we don’t miss an opportunity to eat out on the deck.  Tonight’s dinner was salad (romaine, cabbage, artichokes, sprouts, olives, tempeh, sunflower seeds, walnut oil, pepper and sea salt) and sweet potato fries. I’m especially proud of the sprouts that I’ve been making.  They’ve been going on as many dishes as it seems appropriate.  We have sweet potato plants ready to go into the ground.  We finally got the green house covered in plastic.  Eventually, we want it to be glass.

 

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Yeah! It’s Friday

April 26, 2013 § 3 Comments


 

20130426-085707.jpgToday an old memory hit me. I used to clean the house on Friday. It was date night, when Chris drove the 2 1/2 hour drive to see me. Our eleventh wedding anniversary is coming up. He just made reservations for Asheville, NC. We love Asheville. There is history, nice shops, great vegetarian restaurants, and most importantly lots of good hiking. So, back to the memory, a wild thought occurred that I might clean the house today.

This is yesterday’s entree.  I had it for lunch.  Chris had it for dinner, and there was enough left over for his lunch and possibly mine today.  But if I get inspired and am not too tired from cleaning I may make something else.  Basil and tomatoes are calling out to me today.

The ingredients are extra firm tofu, safflower oil, vegetable broth, cabbage, peanut sauce, grated ginger, broccoli, rice noodles, and cashews.  I love my wok which I’ve had for over thirty years.

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It started out like this.  I cubed the tofu and stir-fried in just a dab of oil and peanut sauce.  I emptied the remainder of two jars, one from Whole Foods, their brand, and another which is actually a peanut dressing from Trader Joe’s.  I would go with the latter.  It adds more zest.  I grated a bit of ginger over that and added the rest of the ingredients.

 

For the final touch I served over Annie Chun’s Rice Noodles which takes about 3 minutes to make.

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Food

April 25, 2013 § 6 Comments


Finished Sprouts

Finished Sprouts

 

 

Food – We all love it.  We are always trying to eat healthier.  I struggle, being lacto-vegetarian.  I have way too much dairy in my diet.  Then there is wheat.  Recently I went twenty-one days without wheat.  Perhaps that wasn’t long enough.  I saw no change in the way I felt.  For the last three days I haven’t eaten dinner.  When I skip dinner I DO see a change.  It’s like a mini fast for me.  Yesterday while doing yoga and walking I felt so much lighter.  I have been trying to make meals I think my husband will really appreciate.  I practice with lunch, since that is my main meal.  Then I repeat at dinner, and sometimes change it around a little or add to it.  I have begun sprouting again.  I love sprouts, on salads, on sandwiches, but not really for juicing.

Some of the latest food entrees:

Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

On this non-gmo veggie burger is cilantro, salsa, and avocado.

Salad using the sprouts

Salad using the sprouts

Black Beans with Veggies and Cheese on Spinach Tortilla

Black Beans with Veggies and Cheese on Spinach Tortilla

 

Rueben with Hummus

Rueben with Hummus

I use tempeh when making ruebens.  I added dandelion greens to the hummus.  For the evening meal I added fries for my husband.

Rueben with Fries

Rueben with Fries

 

Sprout Beginnings

Sprout Beginnings

Lintel Soup and Tortilla with veggies and cheese

Lintel Soup and Tortilla with veggies and cheese

 

Making Kale Chips

Making Kale Chips

A Step into Nature and What is Natural

April 22, 2013 § 1 Comment


Saturday was clean up day for our county.  So, we took advantage by doing some clean up around here.  A friend brought over a trailer, and my husband and he worked together on both our place and his.  There were people at the unloading spot to take advantage of other people’s discarded stuff.  I’m not sure ours would be of use to anyone, but hopefully so.

Tulips at the Aboretum

Tulips at the Aboretum

I fixed a pretty healthy late lunch for us, a salad and lentil soup.  I throw everything into soups and salads.  They are vegan and mostly organic, so overall healthy.  Since lunch was late we weren’t so hungry for another meal but wanted something else.  Did you ever notice how husbands and wives after being together for a while have the same thoughts?  Sadly, we were both thinking MacDonald’s fries.  It’s been years since we’ve eaten anything at MacDonald’s.   My husband had his Ipad handy, so I said look up the ingredients for their fries.  The list cried out total GMO to us.*  We came back to our senses.  I thought I have potatoes, organic ones.  So, I got off my lazy butt and went into the kitchen.  The fries I made turned out great.  I sprinkled olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground mixed peppercorns, chili powder, and nutritional yeast on them and baked.

My Own Baked Fries

My Own Baked Fries

On Sunday we went beyond the natural wonders in our own back woods and explored The Arboretum in Lexington, Kentucky.  http://www.ca.uky.edu/arboretum/index.php  We have done two weekend Lexington trips in a row now.  I think we’ve pretty much used up our tax return on Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  On both trips I’m happy to say we took the opportunity to explore walking paths in Lexington.  On the first trip we took the 2.5 mile hike at Shillito Park.  It was a nice walking trail, but I much preferred the beauty of the arboretum trail.  The Arboretum trail with it’s sights along the way made the walk seem like it went by so fast.

Visiting other trails are often an inspiration for us for ways we can improve our own trail and property.  We have piles of saved up old lumber, barn wood, etc, that hopefully we will have a use for.

Me, Walking the Trail

Me, Walking the Trail

A Sculpture Along the Trail

A Sculpture Along the Trail

Walkway, and Possibility for Our Own Trail

Walkway, and Possibility for Our Own Trail

Carving, Another Possibility

Carving, Another Possibility

 

*McDonalds FRIES are cooked in genetically engineered oil. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil (85% gmo), corn oil (85% gmo), soybean oil (90% gmo), hydrogenated soybean oil.  From:  Millions Against Monsanto by OrganicConsumers.org

Growing Green

April 18, 2013 § 9 Comments


20130418-103015.jpgWe are trying to grow our own veggies for our juices and cooking. I started celery and romaine lettuce from the stalk part in water. It’s doing rather nicely. So, I started another pot full.

April 16th was National Barefoot Day. It was my first day barefoot outside. It was a day of firsts. While out walking around our small field trail I really noticed the first green buds. I took a picture of some of the redbud. It is .4 miles circular. As I come back upon the house it makes me feel good to see the fruits of our labor…the rock work on the outer wall from rock gathered on the farm, and the deck we built over the summer.

Just this past weekend my husband got the greenhouse under roof and 20130418-103125.jpgsurrounded by plastic. Eventually, we want to use glass. We have yet to join and rock the two buildings. In front you will see the wagon which we hook up to the tractor to go out in the woods and gather rock. We have various seedlings going inside the greenhouse as well as the kale which is pictured.

We also just fenced around part of the garden to keep animals out. Under the hay we have potatoes planted. We have various other things planted in there among the weeds. I don’t consider dandelion a weed. I think it is as nutritional as kale. I often use it in salads, juices, and pestos.

It was also the first day of the year on which I mowed the lawn.

 

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Dandelion is great for the bones, being rich in calcium, and anit-oxidants such as Vitamin C and Luteolin. Being rich in these anti-oxidents it could be useful for cancer prevention. It helps with liver disorders, particularly jaundice, helping to maintain proper bile flow, stimulating the liver and promoting digestion. It is a natural diuretic removing extra sugar from the body, thus being beneficial for persons with diabetes. Being a diuretic it cleans out the kidneys and removes toxins from the urinary system. Being a toxin remover it also helps with acne. Some people will use it for weight loss due to its diuretic properties. It is also beneficial for the gall bladder, anemia, high blood pressure, and is a great source of fiber. I offset it with something sweet in juicing as it has a very bitter taste.

Below is the kale we started in the greenhouse.

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Red Head

April 11, 2013 § 7 Comments


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I drew this on my IPad on Tuesday while sitting in my husband’s office waiting for him to get off work.

Report Card on the Beginning of this Vedic New Year

April 10, 2013 § 2 Comments


Vegan LunchToday is an auspicious day, as it marks the Vedic New Year.  According to the Sanskrit tradition this day is of cosmic importance and marks a new beginning.  So why do I feel so sluggish today?  Perhaps I started my own new year too early.  I began on March 1st slowly incorporating in better habits.  I started on this day for various reasons.  I will name two.  I believe that this is the actual birthday of Jesus Christ.  There is a post somewhat further down in my blog regarding this belief.  It is also when the weather begins to change for the better in my own opinion.  It is the forerunner of Spring when all things begin new life.  After the coldness of winter I am in need of new life.

I began a daily practice of yoga on March 1st.  I have done this before and even kept it up for an entire year without skipping a day; however, this time I wanted my daily practice to be a complete set of poses, a routine of various setting and standing poses.  My goal is to not worry about how long my yoga practice is but how much effort I’m putting into my yoga practice.  Thus far I have kept up with that resolution.  There are days when everything seems to flow.  There are days when my back feels as if it where going to break.

On April 1st I have committed myself to a 3 mile walk each day, which could be a walk, a hike, an elliptical adventure, or a combination of any of these as long as I get at least three miles in.  The hike could even include a rock hunt, which was the case this past weekend.  I have yet to unload the rocks from the wagon.  That was a deal I cut with my husband.  He hand laundered a shirt for me in exchange for me getting all the rocks I could lift on my own from the wagon.  It was my idea.  The rock job I don’t mind at all.  On the other hand I hate doing laundry by hand.  Possibly that is sometimes why my back can get so out of sorts.

There are still so many more resolutions I am thinking about adding in to this upcoming year.  There is eating better, juicing more, sprouts, organic gardening, etc., etc.  It’s all an effort at better living and somehow avoid the chronological age of 60 that is coming upon me in August.

As far as eating better goes, I had a green juice this morning, a midday chai latte, a great lunch of mostly organic ingredients (A tofu veggie burger with avocado, salsa, cilantro, on a wheat bun – the one with only three ingredients, and some sweet potato fries), and I plan on substituting dinner with another juice.

Now out for that walk!

Easy Delicious Salad

April 9, 2013 § 8 Comments


20130409-081415.jpgThis is something I make quite a lot.  The ingredients are:

Romaine lettuce

Shredded cabbage (purple would add color)

Flax tempeh (cubed and browned)

Black olives

Marinated artichokes

Sunflower seeds

Sea Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Walnut oil – small amount for the dressing

 

Baby Goat

April 7, 2013 § 1 Comment


20130407-195114.jpgA friend has a goat farm, Yellow Goat Farm, and this picture is based on a picture of a new baby goat.

 

Landscape

April 7, 2013 § 12 Comments


Newest Ipad Drawing

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When Thoughts Synchronize

April 6, 2013 § 9 Comments


IMG_0006I find more and more my thoughts form something real, if anything is real at all.  Isn’t science now finding that we actually do live in a matrix?  Norman Vincent Peale said, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”  If only my thoughts were of a more profound nature.  Right now I’m thinking my kitchen looks like a cyclone hit it and that I need to get up and clean it.

I also think every thought is a prayer, and that every prayer gets answered.  The problem is that we waffle back and forth on our thoughts so much, the answer changes with the thoughts.

Mostly my thoughts are simple.  Yesterday I began thinking about my name. We were going on a small trek out of town yesterday.  While in the car I asked my husband if he ever noticed how my family always said my first and middle name together, as if it were one word?  My full first and middle name is Jerri Lynn.  The people in the newer phases of my life just call me Jerri (actually pronounced jera), that’s another story – something my father did who named me.  I didn’t know people made up names in Starbucks, until one day I heard a bunch of teenage girls in front of me discussing the names they were going to use.  I had a roommate in college over thirty years ago who did that at a local pizza joint.

IMG_0007IMG_0008Our trek out of town mostly involved a trip to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, a rare treat for us.  Right after checking out at Whole Foods, my husband asked me if I noticed the name on the check out girl’s badge.  I went back to look.  It was Jerilyn, one word.  I told her my name.  We both thought that happening was rather unique.

It must have been a name day.  We were in another shop, and someone asked me to spell my last name.  She was rather flabbergasted and told me her last name, nearly identical.  We both discussed how people had the same problem pronouncing them.  So, I basically have a full name that defies pronunciation.  I do love how my parents pronounced my name, but am not particularly fond of the spelling.  At the same time, I think everything is for a reason.

I’ve been wondering (thinking) lately about why there has to be so many ingredients in bread.  We usually steer clear of foods that list zillions of ingredients we can’t pronounce.  We walked into Trader Joe’s.  The first think I saw was a display of bread, boasting only three organic ingredients.  I thought I had found bread heaven.  And, the half loaves were huge.  The three ingredients were whole wheat, filtered water and sea salt.  I wasn’t even aware that you could make this sort of non-flat bread without yeast.  We had some for breakfast this morning, and it tasted great.

The weather is nice out today, so on to gardening and hopefully some rock gathering.  I have been thinking I would love to have a huge waterfall out in the eastern part of the field.  I will let you know if that thought comes to fruition.

Vegan Fifteen Minute Woking

April 5, 2013 § 10 Comments


20130405-071933.jpgI do a lot of stir fry.  It’s simple and I love using my wok which I’ve probably had for thirty years.  It’s also something that is quick, and sometimes I wait until about fifteen minutes before my husband comes home to start dinner preparation.  I’m usually waiting until the last minute to start dinner because I’ve probably just finished hiking and I just want to sit down for a moment.  So I turn on the television for the first time during the day and start getting involved in a program.  We only have Netflix.  I tend to find one program and watch all episodes until the end….not all in one sitting – over the course of  a month or more depending on the program.  I re-watched all the Star Treks, and a few others that didn’t have long life spans.  I’m currently on The Dead Zone.  Back to the cooking part.  With the wok it’s also something I can do where you can mostly throw in whatever you have in your refrigerator.  This was what we had last night.

I have no precise measurements, but I will do my best.

Brown Rice – prepare according to package

While rice is cooking, heat a little oil (I use safflower) in wok.  Throw in the following:

Chopped onion

Tablespoon of whole cumin

Cubed extra firm tofu (about half the package)20130405-071953.jpg

Two to Three stalks of curly kale – remove from stem

Some chopped cabbage

A sprinkle of unsalted sunflower seeds

About a fourth a cup of water to keep from burning.  I try to use very little oil.  It’s just a starter.

Don’t overcook.  The veggies should look vibrant.  I use medium high heat.

Serve over the brown rice, and use sea salt to taste.  Also, I recommend using organic ingredients.

This meal really tasted great.  It was one of those meals where you didn’t have to eat a lot to satisfy you.

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