Friday, April 09, 2010
“As a gardener, I am among those who believe that much of the evidence of God’s existence has been planted.”~ Robert Brault www.robertbrault.com
I love fresh produce! During the months of May through August, I could live on sun-ripened strawberries, tender, green peas, plentiful zucchini and cucumbers, super-sweet corn, and homegrown tomatoes, to name just a few. I believe I would be satisfied being a vegetarian during the summer-harvest months.
“Vegetables are the food of the earth; fruit seems more the food of heavens.”~ Sepal Felicivant
Growing up as a child, my parents planted a gigantic garden. In early- March every year, my Dad would begin scouring over the Burpee and Gurney seed catalogs, page by page, planning and creating his garden masterpiece.
After the seed order was placed, he would sketch on paper the precise position of each row, of each plant, and each variety of all of the vegetables and fruits to be placed in the garden. Every year he would add a new species of vegetable or fruit to experiment with, everything from pineapple tomatoes and red candy- apple onions to honeyberries and paw-paws.
Next he would take inventory of his garden shed. He would patch his tomato cages, untangle his garden-twine, replace old- worn garden stakes, sharpen his shovels and tune-up his garden tiller.
I use to love to watch him prepare the soil of the garden, taking in the earthen-scent of the freshly tilled ground. I loved the way the soft, lose soil felt as it sifted through my fingers, the rich, dark blacks and browns that were filled with nutrients and minerals, just waited to give life to the new seedlings that would take root, flourish, and grow.
On the day that the seeds finally arrived; my brothers, my sister and I would watch as my Dad meticulously plowed the rows just the right distance apart, staking each of them precisely with the twine taunt and straight, then carefully deposited each seed just the right depth, and painstakingly covered the seeds with the fresh, lose soil, plainly labeling each row with it’s contents. In the days to follow, we would watch with anticipation, waiting for the seeds to sprout and break the earth.
“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.”~ W.E. Johns
Most weeks, spring showers would bring ample rain to quench the soil and encourage growth of the new seedlings. Once breaking the earth, they would stretch their fragile, new leaves toward the warming sun and, it sometimes seemed, would double their size overnight.
Along with the growth of the plants, came growth of weeds. This is where the youth of my brothers, my sister, and I was used to its advantage. It was our job to cautiously tip- toe between the rows of the newly grown plants, and seized the weeds before they began to invade the space, which the seedlings would grow. It was necessary to keep the weeds from robbing the earth of the nourishment meant for the thriving new fruit and vegetable plants.
“Gardening requires lots of water~ most of it in the form of perspiration.”~ Lou Erickson
Usually, by the end of May, we saw the fruits of our hard work began to come to pass; as splashes of pink, deepening to red, smiled at us from amongst the lush, green leaves of the strawberries plants. There was nothing we anticipated more, than the taste of a juicy, bright-red strawberry warmed by the sun. This taste of heaven made all of the hours spent on our hands and knees picking the berries worth while.
“Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.”~ Author Unknown
This earthly treat was just one of many that would soon follow… like sitting around the feet of our Mom, telling stories and snapping green beans which we would eat for dinner… Or finding funny-shaped cucumbers that looked like hammers…like eating a wedge of freshly-grown watermelon and having a contest to see who could spit the seeds the farthest…Or eating an ear of sweet corn that dripped with butter. (Sorry!)
“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”~ Lewis Grizzard
God and Mother Nature gave us everything necessary for fun and healthy eating…take advantage of these gifts while choosing your meals this summer. Perhaps even plant a small garden of your own, even if it is in containers on your patio. You will be amazed at how much better it tastes, when you have grown the fruits and vegetables yourself. Make a memory with your family and watch the closeness grow too!
“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking, if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”~ Volitaire
Monday, April 05, 2010
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” ~ Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia 1732
Some of you probably get sick of hearing it…”DRINK YOUR WATER!” But it is important to remember just how vital water is, not just to our bodies, but every single form of life on earth; and for a few very good reasons.
5. Fire Extinguishing
Water is vital for life. Our body is made up of 55 to 78% water. Did you know that lean people have more water in their bodies because muscle holds more water than fat?
Here are some other interesting facts:
• Our lungs expel 2 to 4 cups of water daily through normal breathing.
• Your feet can sweat up to 1 cup of water a day.
• 12 potty breaks a day eliminate approximately 6 cups of water.
• Perspiring can reduce your body’s water content by 2 cups WITHOUT exercising.
• Although a 10% water loss constitutes dehydration, a 2% loss can affect athletic performance,
induces tiredness, and decrease the ability of critical thinking.
• Drinking adequate amounts of water can regulate appetite, increase metabolism, boost energy,
lessen water retention, alleviate some headaches, help reduce high blood pressure and
cholesterol, ease joint pain, decrease risk of some cancers, lessen chance of developing kidney
stones, release toxic waste products, and improves skin.
“I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
So DRINK YOUR WATER !!! Water can make your metabolism burn calories 3% faster.
Water quenches the thirst of man and quenches the thirst of the land. 69% of the Earth’s water is used in irrigation.
Water heightens our energy and produces power for the planet. 22% of the Earth water is used for industry.
Water cools our bodily temperatures and extinguishes the Earth’s fires.
Water cleanses the body and cleanses the soul. A small percentage of the Earth’s water is used for recreation.
“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is the earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depths of his nature.”~ David Henry Thoreau
Thanks for the photos Ashley !
Friday, April 02, 2010
Easter changes everything….
“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.” ~ S.D. Gordon
“The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to
start over no matter what my circumstances.” ~Robert Flatt
So many years ago, God gave the ultimate sacrifice, the life of his son, so that we could be made new. We have been washed clean of our past, and have been given the opportunity to improve upon our future.
Reflect on this special time to wash ourselves of our past, forget our weariness, forget our loneliness, forget our fear, and forget our suffering and pain. Let us bath in our own forgiveness, triumph over our victories, however small they may be, and lavish our rebirth with faith and hope for tomorrow.
We have all made mistakes on this journey to weight loss. We have all become weary, lonely, fearful and, at times, suffered great pain along the way. At times, we have subjected ourselves to great tortures, sufferings, and pain. We have beaten ourselves to death because of those mistakes made; just as Jesus was beaten on the cross by the non-believers, for the mistakes he made. But we can rise above those mistakes and begin again. Just as Jesus was risen from death.
“The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still
before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the
spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.” ~
Henry Knox Sherrill
Let us meet the challenge of the new days before us with hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. Let us, not only begin this journey to weight loss again, but celebrate the journey, with new birth, new faith, new strength, and new hope …and stay with the journey to the victorious end.
“Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet
every rising sun with such sentiments of God's goodness, as if you had seen it,
and all things, new - created upon your account: and under the sense of so great
a blessing.”~ William Law
Thursday, April 01, 2010
There are many thoughts behind the origin of April Fools Day, but according to the Encyclopedia of Religion and the Encyclopedia Britannica, the timing of this day of pranks seems to be related to the arrival of spring, when nature “fools” mankind with fickle weather.
In many ways, there are a lot of days that could resemble an April fool’s prank when traveling this journey to weight loss. Some of us have experienced days in our travels when the bathroom scale and our bodies can be just as fickle as spring. Like the days that we feel the scale beneath our feet must have surely tricked us, when the swaying numbers come to rest on a figure somewhat higher than we hoped for… a weight that certainly does not reflect the many sacrifices, hours of sweat, and determination that we have infused into our efforts to change. Or the days we are thrilled to no end, when we are sure that our labors will prove fruitless, to find numbers on the scale far more encouraging than we could have imagined. One day it’s hot, and one day it’s cold…back and forth, back and forth, feeling that you have little control over what happens to your body.
“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.” ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.”
Another theory behind the origin dates from 1582; the year France adopted the Gregorian calendar, which shifted the observance of New Year's Day from the end of March to the first of January. According to popular lore, some folks, out of ignorance, stubbornness, or both, continued to ring in the New Year on April 1 and were made the butt of jokes and pranks on account of their foolishness. This became an annual tradition, according to this version of events.
Once again, this theory could also resemble some of our journeys. How many times have we tried to lose weight using the same approach, making the same mistakes, falling back into the same old habits over and over again? Why do we do this? Is it because of our lack of knowledge or our stubbornness and unwillingness to change?
Regardless the reason, we need to remember this:
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” - Deepak Chopra
"When one approach is not working to reach the desired goal, that's not a reason to abandon the goal. Instead, it is time to devise another approach."-Ralph Marston
I don’t know about you, but being a prisoner of my past, doesn’t sound very fun to me. On this journey, I have devised a new approach and I won’t be an April fool any longer!
April fool, n. The March fool with another month added to his folly. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
“It is better to weep with wise men than to laugh with fools.” ~Spanish Proverb
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success."~ Parmahansu Yogamonda
This morning, as I stepped on the scales...the music began to play, the confetti began to fall, and the balloons began floating toward toward the sky...twenty- two point two pounds down and going strong! I have surpassed achieving my end-week goal of one hundred and forty- five pounds, as the numbers displayed one hundred forty- four point eight !
This, not only brings me a sense of satisfaction and inspires me to keep striving to move forward, but it leaves me reminiscent of days gone by. I have lost this weight before. Like so many people I have spoken with and read of, here on Sparkpeople, my journey isn't so much about losing weight, but maintaining my weight loss.
"I have gained and lost the same ten pounds so many times, over and over again, my cellulite must have de'ja'vu."~ Jan Wagner
I found myself laughing when I read that quote. Not only does my cellulite have de'ja'vu, but I am left thinking, "What can I do differently this time?" Why do I regain the weight that I have worked so diligently to lose? And the answer itself is simple; I have to learn how to successfully sow my seeds.
A Farmer doesn't just wake up one morning and say, "I think I will plant a field today." No, it's quite the contrary. He must learn, plan, and sweat to yield an abundant crop. Not only does he have to know what kind of seeds to plant, but when and how. And once the seeds are planted, the work is far from over. He has to have the discipline to continue tending his fields. He must plow them, fertilize them, and keep the fields free of weeds.
It is very important for the new plants to have loose soil that allows the growing roots to establish a firm, deep foundation. The soil's proper nutrients must be replenished along the way to keep the growing plants healthy and strong. And the weeds, if overlooked, will strangle the plants, steal their nutrients and stunt their growth.
After all of this, the Farmer's job is still not complete. The forecast has to cooperate, and the weather must be kind. For this, the Farmer has no control; but a little hope and a little prayer along the way never hurt anything.
And so I think to myself, if I wish to sow the seeds of success and keep this weight off, I must continue my efforts daily, day in and day out. I must continue to read and research, eat the right foods, exercise and stay motivated. For this isn't just another diet...it's a lifelong adventure.
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