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Another Food Blog - Oh, No! Two in One Day!

Monday, September 13, 2010



Tonight's dinner:

Baked salmon with balsamic glaze:

Bake salmon at 350 until tender.

While the salmon is cooking peel and quarter a beet to boil, put it in the pot to boil, and make the glaze.

Balsamic glaze:
Easy and delicious. Gently simmer a cup of balsamic vinegar, stirring occasionally, until it thickens enough to drizzle over the fish.

Steamed asparagus:
After steaming add a teeny tiny bit of butter, a little salt, and a squirt of fresh lemon juice

Beet and Feta salad:

Sliced beets
thinly sliced carrots
chopped red onion
low fat feta
romaine lettuce
a sprinkling of sun flower seeds

Balsamic dressing:

Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste


Bon appetite!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/18/2010 8:21PM

    This looks so delicious -- and I had no idea how simple it might be to make balsamic glaze!!

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MARY1313 9/17/2010 10:20PM

    oh that looks GREAT!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 9/17/2010 8:23AM

    Looks very good and easy.

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KRITTERKEEPERS 9/14/2010 2:10AM

    Looks delicious!
emoticon

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KJE_3001 9/13/2010 11:30PM

    Mmmmm, looks so good. I used to hate beets, but over the last few years, I've come to really enjoy them. And I ADORE feta, so this looks like a combination made in heaven!

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MCGS62 9/13/2010 10:22PM

    The red beet and feta salad sounds great.
One of my favorites has been cold red beets with cottage cheese.
This whole meal sounds right on target.
Sounds so good that quantity control may be difficult!! emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 9/13/2010 9:51PM

    No wonder your man loses his mind when you leave him alone in a kitchen! He's missing his gourmet chef!

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REDRIDINGHOOD16 9/13/2010 8:57PM

    delicious!

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IUHRYTR 9/13/2010 8:22PM

    Delicious looking. Yum. -- Lou

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CLEVAGAL 9/13/2010 7:51PM

    Hi Chris, I used fresh grated beetroot in salads. Try it uncooked! Wish I could eat fish but im allergig damn it! I love the tomato song, it plays every time I look at a blog! Cleva xxx

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BELLASMOM8 9/13/2010 7:11PM

    Looks yummy! emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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0309COOKIE 9/13/2010 7:01PM

    This looks mouthwatering and I've already eaten dinner!

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Recipes for My Make-Ahead Breakfasts and Lunches This Week

Monday, September 13, 2010

A few of my Spark Friends wanted recipes after I posted about making breakfasts and lunches for the week on Sunday. I'll try, but I don't use recipes.

I made buckwheat waffles to freeze for quick and easy breakfasts. I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Pancake and Waffle Mix. I did not add the sweetener - I use maple syrup or jam on them, so I don't put sweetener in them.

Add to the mix 2 T. wheat germ, 2 T. hemp seed, and 2 T. ground flax seeds to the amount of mix that makes 4 waffles.

I made them up and froze them for use during the week.

I also boiled 5 eggs to use as my after workout protein part of breakfast.

For lunches, I made up lentil dal with brown Basmati rice, and spaghetti with pesto sauce.


dal:

Cook 1 cup of lentils in water with 2 chopped carrots. Saute 3 cloves of garlic and half an onion, adding hot curry powder as they brown. Add the onion/garlic mix to the lentils and cook until soft. You can leave the lentils whole, or mash them.

When the lentils were done, I added a cup of fresh spinach, not exactly traditional, but it added some leafy greens to my lunch.

While the lentils are cooking, cook the brown basmati according to directions on the package.

Serve the lentils with the rice. I put the rice in my freezer container, then add the dal on top, and freeze individual lunch size servings.


The other lunch I made up, which was also our dinner was whole wheat spaghetti with pesto sauce.

I am a 'flexitarian' I don't eat much meat, but I do eat some. If you are a vegetarian, your will want to substitute the hamburger in the spaghetti sauce.

Put the water on to boil.

Saute 2 cloves of garlic, and the other half of the onion from the dal. Add 1/2 cup chopped portabella mushrooms, then 1/4 pound Laura's Lean Hamburger (or hamburger substitute or tempeh as an alternative protein source) and saute until the protein is cooked through.

Meanwhile, when the water is boiling add enough spaghetti for 4 servings and cook until the desired texture.

Add pesto sauce at the last minute to the vegetables and protein mix.

I freeze this in the same way as the dal and rice. Spaghetti on the bottom, sauce, then fresh parmesan cheese on top.

Salad on the side:

Romaine lettuce
1/4 avocado
2T black beans
chopped red onion
carrots

Dressing (1 serving):
1/2 T Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

I like my salads fresh so I make them the day I'm going to eat them - no make-aheads here.

If you decide to make any of these, let us know how you like them and any changes you make so we can try your take on them, too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKONLADY2 1/10/2012 8:54PM

    ya waffle will be good all of ya food look good

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MCGS62 9/13/2010 10:15PM

    I have frozen pancakes before but don't particularly like buckwheat.
Of course I've never added hemp seeds to them.
Hmm,
Pancakes that make you happy and give munchies?

emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/13/2010 10:30:33 PM

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MEOWMAMA3 9/13/2010 9:50PM

    Yum Yum, will definitely try the dal! My lentils turn out like more of a vegetable soup, good, but predictable. I also rarely cook with recipes, but I love to read and collect cookbooks! I'm weird........

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MARYMAC45 9/13/2010 7:57PM

    Very good. I will try them. I made spaghetti sauce yesterday from my excess garden tomatoes. It was so good.
Mary

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0309COOKIE 9/13/2010 7:00PM

    Everything sounds so delicious!

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KITTYF54 9/13/2010 5:39PM

    sounds yummy

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Phobia

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Most of my friends here on Spark know me as a brave person. And I am. Mostly. I do have a phobia that has in many ways limited my life. Since it is based on actual events in my life, rather than imagined dangers, it is actually PTSD. This means that things relating to my PTSD bypass my intellectual thoughts and go straight to my amygdala and create an automatic fight or flight adrenaline response.

I have a phobia of flying. I have had 2 very bad experiences on airplanes, one with a flight that injured flight attendants and passengers - where? Over the Bermuda Triangle of all places! To add to the frightening part of the experience, it was the midnight special and I was the only English speaking person on the flight. Everyone was holding tight to their Rosaries, and praying as food trays and luggage went flying, people threw up or screamed, and the oxygen masks popped out. We were able to safely land in San Juan, shaken, with cuts and bruises, but safe.

My second experience was on a flight where the plane kept losing engines, one over Texas, one over another state - I don't remember which one, then one over Washington, DC. The pilot announced that we may have to make an emergency landing before NY, but we managed to limp in on one engine. As we reached the Verrazano Bridge the pilot came on saying that if we looked below us, we could see the Verrazano Bridge. I thought he was going to say, "Look now because it's the last thing you'll ever see." Of course, that isn't what he said, but he told us that the runway would be lined with emergency vehicles and we needed to assume crash position. Sure enough, the runway was lined; ambulance, fire engine, ambulance, fire engine all down the runway, and sure enough, we skidded and bumped our way down the runway. This time, shaken, uninjured, and safe.

After that flight, I stopped flying. That is, until my sister wanted to adopt a child in China as a single parent. I told her that if she wanted to adopt, I would go with her. I spent the better part of the waiting time, preparing myself. I watched planes come and go and stay in the sky. I found many ways to calm myself. And I got anxiety drugs from my doctor. In June, 2001, I flew to Detroit, Minneapolis, Anchorage, South Korea, Hong Kong, Beijing, Changsha, GuangZhou, Hong Kong, South Korea, Fairbanks, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dayton. I did it for the love of my sister, and I am very glad that I found a way to bolster my resolve and just do it in spite of my fears.

That fall was the 9/11 tragedy. This has set me back even farther.

Now my brother is very ill.



He spends his October vacation time on Martha's Vineyard and for years has wanted me to spend some time there with him. It is a terrible time for me to leave the class to a substitute and I have never taken up his invitation. This year, he really wants me to visit him there, he is afraid that we may never have the opportunity again, that he may not survive his cancer.

I could drive. But - I thought it would be very nice to have my sister join us too and she was very excited about the chance for all three of us to be together. I called my brother to let him know we would both be coming and he was ecstatic. We found flights that get us into Boston Logan only hours from each other, she from Alaska, me from Ohio. From there we can get the bus to the ferry, or rent a car to get to the ferry. It would be an 18 hour drive for me, or a two hour flight. I am choosing to fly so I will have more time with my brother.

I had to fight anxiety attacks even as I looked up possible flights and kept my sister on the phone as a life-line when I made my reservation. Believe me, I know many ways to control this - yoga breathing, meditation, making a point of living in the now, spending time enjoying the present and being aware that at no time can we predict the future, and I do all of that. But it does take up a lot of time and space and energy doing that - because this is coming from that sneaky reptilian brain instead of my smart, thinking brain.

My chiropractor says he has a method of helping people with PTSD. There are a lot of mysteries about chiropractic care that I don't understand that seem kooky, and work really well. So, I'm taking a shot at that, plus getting anxiety meds from my DO. Just for the flights.


This is the kind of plane I'll be on. It's pretty small - 35 seats, I think. But I WILL be on it!




I love this Bob Newhart episode:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1g3ENYxg9k

Watch it and laugh! You will know what my new mantra is, and it's a good one!

And no scary plane stories, okay?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/18/2010 8:31PM

    You are brave brave brave -- and have to love your brother AND your sister lots!!

And: I love "stop it"! Will be using this a lot!! (but will keep right on washing my hands, of course . . . )

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KJE_3001 9/13/2010 11:34PM

    We all have our Achilles heel / kryptonite. But I find it admirable that you don't let it stop you when your family is in need. Many out there could not overcome their fear for anything, so you're miles ahead! I hope you have a fantastic time with your siblings, I know they'll appreciate your effort to be there.

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MEOWMAMA3 9/13/2010 9:55PM

    You are an amazing woman. I'm proud of you for facing this and also for not letting worry over the kids get in the way. In the grand scheme of your life visiting him now is much more important. Now I'm off to view the clip! emoticon

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REDRIDINGHOOD16 9/13/2010 8:56PM

    Good for you in working through this! Just keep your family in mind and all of the good memories you're going to create.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 9/13/2010 10:41AM

    I used to never fly. It started after I had to fly from Colorado to Ohio when my dad died ( 1969).

But now that I have 2 daughters and 2 grandbaby's in TX, and I am in OHio, I have sucked it up and fly.

The pilots were able to avoid a tragedy on your flight. Trust that ...

I do feel for you.

You could also ask doctor for some valium for the flights. My mom was scared to death riding with us on mountain roads. She took valium, then looked out the windows and really enjoyed the view.

That was shortly after my dad died, and she was emotionally fragile at the time. The valium help.

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KRITTERKEEPERS 9/13/2010 12:31AM

    I understand your fear. I was terrified of flying in a small plane and overcame my fear because I fell in love with my husband. He was a private, instrument rated pilot and owned a Piper Cherokee (4 seater). I made out my will before going up with him the first time. If it's any consolation, you are much safer in an airplane than in a car. Our airplane insurance was significantly less expensive than our car insurance. Have a wonderful visit with your sister and brother!

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MCGS62 9/12/2010 10:06PM

    Enjoy visiting your brother and sister. If your transportation arrangements need to change send me an Email on the g-mail account I gave you previously. I can set up a rest place at my daughter at penn state and here in Pgh for you to take a break with some friendly people.
I don't like airplanes either but it is not a phobia -- spiders are emoticon

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CLEVAGAL 9/12/2010 9:32PM

    I only have one thing to say to you chris.......... I believe in you. Cleva xxx

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GRAMMABENJI 9/12/2010 9:20PM

    omg does this ever hit home. I just lost my brother to cancer about 2 weeks ago. I am petrified to get on a plane. I have never flown. My brother was in Georgia and me in NY. my mom, dad, and 2 brothers flew to Georgia to see him. I did not go due to really really bad anxiety and panic. I also had kidney stones at the time that they went but even if i had not had the kidney stones I would not have gotten on the plane. I talked with him and wrote my feelings on facebook which they read to him all the time as long as he was alert. He was at the end of his journey. he was on high doses of morphine so he was in and out. Do I miss the chance I had to see him. yes at times I do but he completely understood my fear. Please take this time to be with your brother and enjoy your time. you cannot bring back yesterday.

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OLDERDANDRT 9/12/2010 9:20PM

    I'm with you on the fear of flying, but I salute you for your bravery and supportiveness of your brother. I really hope he has a breakthrough that allows him to have many more good years to spend time with you and your sister, but whether or not, this is really good of you to make yourself do. I am sooo proud of you! I will pray for you and your sister and your brother that al will be well for you all and you have a great time together.

Hugs,
Jayne

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0309COOKIE 9/12/2010 9:10PM

    I, like you, am terrified of flying. I have a friend who must fly for business both domestically and internationally frequently. I pray for him each time he flies and it works wonders, lol. Let me know when you are going, and I'll do the same for you.

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DREMARGRL 9/12/2010 9:08PM

    I love this blog....I love your resolve....I love the love you have for your siblings....and I do love you....for fighting; for staying in the game.

"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that.... so it goes on flying anyway."

XO From my heart,
MaryAnn

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOR2BFIT 9/12/2010 8:06PM

    You are very brave to go forward and not let your phobia rule your life! emoticon emoticon

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YW84FRIDAY 9/12/2010 7:59PM

  I love your determination to not let this phobia keep you down. I and my two daughters all have anxiety disorders and from day one I've been telling them, "I know you're scared. Do it anyway. Do it scared."

Hope your flight is smooth and that you enjoy every minute with your family.

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LMB-ESQ 9/12/2010 7:04PM

    You can do this. No scary airplane stories, I promise. But I will tell you that I've flown a lot, from the time I was a tiny little girl, and I have never... not once... encountered a bad experience. (Well, I suppose you could say airport customer service is a bad experience, but we just won't count that. LOL) But in the air? Never. Maybe I'm just lucky, but the worst experience I ever had was some bumpiness while flying through choppy turbulent air. You get worse driving down a bumpy road in your car. Does that help? Maybe, maybe not. I understand that reptilian sneaky brain telling you other people's experiences mean nothing and that statistics mean nothing. But really... I applaud your courage at facing this fear so that you can do something meaningful for your brother. You did it once for your sister and now you're doing it again. Good for you. I'll look forward to reading about the trip. emoticon emoticon

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JUDY4652 9/12/2010 6:46PM

    Enjoy your time with your brother! Good luck to you both!

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Sleep Number Bed and Happy Chris

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My new Sleep Number bed arrived on Wednesday, so I have had the opportunity to sleep on it for 3 nights now. So far, it has been great! I still have a hard time falling asleep, because my mind doesn't want to shut off. One thing I have found that helps with that is downloading guided meditation podcasts on my iPod, and listening to one when I have settled into bed.

What the Sleep Number bed has been good for has been a few things, which are related. The reason I got it was because I had been waking up with searing pain in my hip every hour or so throughout the night, so my sleep pattern was entirely disrupted. Because I was in pain, I was also grinding my teeth at night, which in turn was causing jaw pain. Who knew the hip bone was connected to the jaw bone . emoticon

With a bed that adjusts to comfortably accommodate my hips and shoulders, in the three days I have been sleeping on it, I have not had hip pain and have slept very soundly through the night. Without the hip pain, I have not been grinding my teeth, so my jaw feels better as well. But best of all, is finally getting deep rest at night. What a difference! No wonder I'm singing you songs - I'm full of energy and joy.
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Here is my new Sleep Number bed. Of course, you can't really tell.




We had them move my old king size bed into one of the guest rooms.


The antique bed was moved to the smaller guest room.





The paintings in all three bedrooms are my father's artwork.

So, today, on top of having slept well for an astonishing 3 nights in a row, and having a wonderful time pumping iron at the gym, and having made myself a leisurely day dedicated to playing music, I had another surprise. I slipped on a size 6 pair of jeans....

and they fit!

I don't even know why I had them in my closet... they haven't fit for 5 years.


emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 9/12/2010 9:41AM

    What a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kudos on the jeans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sweet dreams Chris! emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 9/12/2010 8:34AM

    Here's to a good night's sleep emoticon and size 6 jeans! emoticon

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STARLASUE 9/12/2010 7:10AM

    Glad you are liking your sleep number bed as much as I enjoy mine. It is amazing how a bed and getting a good night's sleep can affect the rest of your day. So glad it is easing some of your physical pain! WOOT

Congrats on the size 6! WOW

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MARY1313 9/12/2010 1:01AM

    WOWOWOW!!!! Size 6 is AWESOME!!!! I'm so glad you are sleeping pain free! that is worth all the kings gold if you ask me.

Mary

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MCGS62 9/11/2010 10:55PM

    Yep !! The sleep number bed is the best bed to Sleep in...
but my jaw bone has always been connected to my foot bone every time I open my mouth-- unless instructed otherwise emoticon

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MARYMAC45 9/11/2010 8:46PM

    Chris, we were thinking of checking the sleep number out. I have a terrible time falling & staying asleep too. I'm so glad it works for you. Your rooms look beautiful & nice artwook.
emoticon on fitting into a size 6. That is awesome.
Mary

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OLDERDANDRT 9/11/2010 8:44PM

    Wow!!! Glad you've found the answer to your nocturnal problems!! Bye bye pain!!! Hello, good night's sleep!!! As for those jeans........... WooHoo!!! God for you!!!

Hugs,
Jayne

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IUHRYTR 9/11/2010 8:11PM

    Being able to sleep without constant waking with pain has to be a blessing. And the smaller size? Wonderful progress. emoticon -- Lou

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End of Summer and a Song for You

Saturday, September 11, 2010



Well, summer is drawing to a close and there is the smell of fall in the air. Our gardens are getting ready to be tucked in and our crops harvested, canned, pickled, or frozen. The seasons move in an out, each bringing its own special qualities.

It was a lovely day today. This morning we had blue, blue skies and this afternoon we got much needed rain. I had a great workout at the gym, took Stella for a walk, then spent the day having fun with my music.

To celebrate garden season, and just for fun, I made this little video. It was just shot on my little Nikon Coolpix which was set on my music stand, so it is at a funny angle and the quality isn't that great. Neither am I a polished performer; it's all about having fun.

So, this is for you. I hope you enjoy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITYZOZO 9/13/2010 8:36AM

    well hellooooo, that was soooo wonderful...loved it... homegrown tomatoes in every american yard...love that line! thanks new friend!

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MEOWMAMA3 9/12/2010 9:40AM

    Nothin' in the world like a singin' Sparkfriend on a Spark Sunday morn! thanks!!!! emoticon emoticon

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STARLASUE 9/12/2010 7:12AM

    Wonderful~! Thanks.

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MARY1313 9/12/2010 12:59AM

    You are so great !!!! I got my guitar and played right along and sang with you too because I already know this song! SO FUN!!!! Thanks for posting Chris! I can tell by your smile you love love love your music, just like I do. You can't be depressed when you sit down to play and sing. It is the best anti depressant I know of!

Mary in Alabama

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PUDLECRAZY 9/11/2010 11:14PM

    Nope, I don't have a copywright - Guy Clark does. Here's Guy singing his song:

http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=1-QzLIjL1u4



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MCGS62 9/11/2010 11:04PM

    That is great. You -- an instrument -- and a cam corder--
that is the mark of a pro
if it is not entertaining or amusing at that level then it is not entertainment.
What you have done here is as wholesome as

well as home grown tomatoes
do you have a copy wright

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PASTAFARIAN 9/11/2010 9:21PM

    That was cute and yummy! Thank you!

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PINKHOPE 9/11/2010 8:37PM

    Loved it! Thanks

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DOR2BFIT 9/11/2010 7:58PM

    Aw, so cute! Thanks! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BBNWTEX 9/11/2010 7:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUABUNNY 9/11/2010 7:36PM

    great song! I just made some salsa last night with my last few garden tomatoes---yummmmmmy!!

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LINDAGRAVEL 9/11/2010 7:33PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ACIMPEGGY 9/11/2010 7:21PM

    I loved it!!!! Next time you might want to put the camera a bit higher. I am a bit hard of hearing. I would have liked it to pick up a bit more of your voice...the guitar kind of almost drowned you out. Now, remember, others may not have this issue.

It was wonderful, though! I agree wholeheartedly! It sounds like you had a great end of summer!

emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 9/11/2010 7:07PM

    I always enjoy your videos and your music! Kind of sad to have Fall come, but at the same time, glad to see the hot, hot, hot go away. Be well, my friend and have a great weekend!! Give Stella hugs for me, too, please!

Hugs,
Jayne

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SIRIRADHA 9/11/2010 6:59PM

    Oh my! That was really, really, really, really great!
Thank you for doing that for us!
emoticon

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IUHRYTR 9/11/2010 6:57PM

    Nothing wrong with having fun. Thanks for the entertainment. emoticon -- Lou

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