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New and exciting hummus recipes! Really!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This is from the ReBoot with Joe website. I've made two of the hummus recipes, and they're not only good tasting, the color is fantastic. I've been making my own hummus for a long time, but the beet one is really special. Here's the link if you want to look at the photos or explore further:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 16 - 20

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.

We love hummus! It’s packed with fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium and healthy fats. We pumped up our hummus even more with fresh veggies like carrots, beets, and asparagus – not only making it colorful but fun to eat! We created a Roasted Carrot, Beautiful Beet and Mellow Asparagus Hummus.

Here’s the recipe for the Mellow Asparagus Hummus. If you want to try to the beet and carrot hummus, just roast 2 beets* and/or a half bunch of carrots* in place of or in addition to the asparagus!

1 can organic chickpeas (we prefer Eden Organic brand, their cans are BPA-free!)
1-2 cloves garlic
2-3 Tbsp. tahini
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1/2 bunch asparagus, roasted
1 small shallot, roughly chopped

1.) Begin by preheating oven to 425F/218C.

2.) Line a baking sheet with foil, spray lightly with olive oil.

3.) Wash and trim the asparagus. In a large bowl toss asparagus and shallot with olive oil, season with salt and fresh pepper. Lay onto baking sheet.

4.) Roast asparagus until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
*If you are roasting beets and/or carrots you will need to up the time to about 30 – 45 minutes.

5.) While the asparagus is roasting, make the hummus. Rinse and drain chickpeas. In a food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, process until smooth.

6.) Taste and adjust seasoning with sea salt to taste. Add more lemon juice/olive oil as need to reach your desired consistency.

7.) When the asparagus has cooled add it to the hummus and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

8.) Serve with lightly toasted whole grain pita.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINOVER 5/23/2013 8:09PM

    Sounds good! Thanks for sharing!

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SKINNYROBIN100 5/21/2013 12:13AM

    This is awesome stuff...I love your ideas and I love hummus and have been making my own since Dec. when I bought a Vita-Mix!!! Thanks for the great recipes. I plan to make them all! emoticon

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MICKEYH 5/20/2013 11:19PM

    emoticon for sharing. emoticon

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    You know how picky I am. I tried some hummus at the grocery store and did not like it. I like beets though. And asparagus.

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 5/20/2013 12:56PM

    Sounds delicious!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/20/2013 11:30AM

    Thank you! I love hummus and this recipe sounds fantastic. I'm headed out to see the "Reboot with Joe" web site.

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TURTLETALK 5/20/2013 11:19AM

    I love hummus I may have to try the roasted beet hummus.

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CMBELISLE 5/20/2013 8:35AM

    I love hummus but you lost me when you mentioned asparagus. Leave that out and I bet it is delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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HIPPICHICK1 5/20/2013 8:18AM

    I love hummus!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OWL_20 5/20/2013 7:36AM

    Love hummus! I'm surprised the asparagus doesn't make it bitter somehow, but this is one I will definitely be trying. Thanks for the post!

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NORASPAT 5/19/2013 10:31PM

    SCOOTER thanks I love hummus I do not make it but I buy it often. I also like to drain a can of chick peas and put them in the fridge and I eat them as snacks, just like nuts.

I am so happy to have the other additions I never would have thought about Asparagus.

I hope you are doing well. I am still busy in the yard. It is coming very slowly. Clay is miserable to work with. HUGS Pat in Maine. HUGS I am playing catch up once again. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Sounds good.. especially with the asparagus!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/19/2013 8:18PM

    Sounds yummy! Thanks!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/19/2013 7:49PM

    Me too, Sue and Scooter...these sound VERY tasty! And, funny thing, I just headed over to a friend's SP who is another hummus lover to give her the link to your blog and discovered that you two had recently friended one another (my real world friend Robin, aka GENKI_WARRIOR)!

BTW, LOVELOVELOVE your wallpaper!

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CYND59 5/19/2013 7:43PM

    I made hummus for the first time last week. It was very good. "Black bean spicy hummus". Thanks for the link. I love to juice so I am going to try some of his recipes.

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SUSANNAH31 5/19/2013 7:13PM

    I am a big hummus fan. Thanks!


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...wherein our heroine makes a potentially unpopular proclamation:

Monday, May 13, 2013

I agree, in theory, that we should make our lives count, and that we shouldn't always be putting off until tomorrow, etc. I *do* believe there's no time like the present for tackling issues like health, weight, exercise, even drinking a glass of water. Moreover, we *should* be concentrating on making our world a better place for those who dwell thereon.

However, I'm getting a little...overwhelmed? all the sayings about making every single moment count towards our one precious life. Don't the people who say these things ever...I dunno...take a long shower? Take three whole minutes to decide between navel and regular oranges? Press the snooze button on the alarm? Read the funnies in the newspaper?

These things that make up the minutiae of daily life don't seem to be contributing much to saving the planet, personal evolution, helping others or doing anything a darned bit of good. They could all honestly be labeled a "waste of time." But seriously, am I the only one who sees these minutes as the real fiber of life?

Long baths, snooze buttons and newspaper funnies (insert your own favorite time "wasters" here) make us the individuals that we are, and it is those individuals who can make a difference in the world. I suspect even Mother Theresa occasionally pondered what to put on her oatmeal (and probably chose nothing, but that's beside the point I'm trying to make here.)

If I truly had to evaluate whether every moment of my life was contributing in some way to my own good, let alone the overall good of all mankind, I think I'd forever be frozen in place. And that inability to move in *any* direction, because of the constant self-evaluation, truly would be a waste of time.

East or west, north or south? Buy this or that item? But what about fair trade? What about my own finances? What about sustainability? Nothing grows here in the winter, so what happens to eating locally? Juice!...but the juicer is made in China. Hydrofracking may ruin the environment, but if it doesn't, the many unemployed might find good jobs, which would support local sustainability. Wait, shouldn't I be writing deathless prose instead of griping on Spark People?... But what about washing the dishes?

I guess my point here is that people are composed of many parts, and some of these parts delight in "wasting" time - indeed, it defines them. I'm not advocating that we all blow off our good deeds and our healthy habits, but a day spent drinking tea and watching Hoarders reruns isn't something we should feel guilty about. Yes, there probably are folks who endeavor to make every minute count, who leap from bed every morning and head out to slay the dragons of the unfortunate, but we mere mortals don't stand a chance of living up to the standards set by these paragons - and I'm not sure even paragons always meet their own standards.

So I'm finished feeling guilty.

I'm just sayin'.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

I.M.MAGIC 5/26/2013 10:10AM

    My mom sure had it right! LOL

She always said that you can't get water from a dry well, that it needs time to replenish... She was a sister and daughter, a wife and mother, the most welcoming hostess to anyone in need, and the most compassionate registered nurse ...she poured more water on more dry souls than any one I know.

I think that's what you've all discovered. The time we spend with ourselves-- that is what gives us the things we need to spend time on others. And on the world.

Thinking about how short life is, how much there is to do and experience it... I think the real waste of time is just not doing SOMETHING, finding the joy or peace in it, and SAVORING IT!... Even washing dishes can be an enriching experience if we have the attitude, right?

You really hit on something here, and I think it struck a chord with a lot of us! LOL
Kathy emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLILA 5/19/2013 6:37PM

    and very well said it was too.

I've always read the articles about how to save a few pennies every day and now I too wonder, yabut? (as my old pastor used to say).... There are some things that do cost money but so what, why do we have it if not to get things we need or long as we have enough...
No more guilt!!!! emoticon

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    Oh my stars.. you are killing me.. no, really.. my abs are on fire..and this belly laughing HURTS! It overwhelms me a bit too if you must know.. I was musing the other day about what would happen if everyone really did quit eating all the processed foods.. and how in reality, it would lead to mass chaos.. can you imagine every fast food place closing down? all those people out of work?? and my mind just kept going down that path.. it's good to know I"m not the only one! You SO rock my friend!

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NONIE_C 5/16/2013 8:45AM

    Clearly, the heroine's proclamation is not unpopular at all emoticon
And I'm right on board with it too. You see, I used to be one of those people who berated myself if I wasn't spending every waking moment trying to make the world a better place. This, it turns out, was the real waste of my time. I was so obsessed with looking out that I forgot to look in - to check in with myself - and I got stagnant and stuck as a result. Stunted people are not making the world a better place, IMHO. I didn't get un-stuck until I slowed down, stopped trying to save the world, and started saving myself. Now, what I have to offer the world, even though it's no longer my every waking moment, it so much richer and more wonderful.

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KASEYCOFF 5/16/2013 2:36AM

    Extremes are usually a sign that a person is following the letter of a statement, but not the spirit. I think a lot of the OCD revolving around "living in the now" isn't quite on the mark.

But maybe it's just me...

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SHIRAZSOLLY 5/16/2013 12:08AM

    I find that I do a lot of good decision making during time wasting activities.

I have "wasted" about ten hours on here during my decision making process to become a runner and another five finding runners to make as friends so I could learn from and be inspired by them! Is that wasting time? Probably not. I'm old enough and have enough health and mobility issues so that I had to put some serious thought into what I wanted to do. I've taken serious college classes in anatomy, physiology and exercise science that didn't get me to the decisions I've made lurking around people's blogs.

I do a lot of good thinking doing menial labor, the kind I grew up hearing an educated person didn't do (if he or she could afford hired help). But I solve serious problems digging in the hardest, most compacted dirt. The harder and more difficult the work, the more problems I solve. Conversely, I also solve them sitting in a bath tub until the water gets cold. Both of these have one thing in common: I have shut out everyone else and am only in my own head.

And I feel so much better about the world after I play ridiculous games with my poodle. The more ridiculous, the better. If I get down on all "fours" and pretend to be a dog with him, he is just delighted and that makes us both happy.

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ANATASHIKI 5/15/2013 11:45AM

    lol , who says those things are 'wasting "time? aren't those people who want us half dead , working for them as zombies?nobody has to change the world , save the planet and sacrifice himself for humanity . somebody already did that. the only thing that we should try to change for the better is ourselves. and I'm sure a long shower and taking the time to breathe and look around us will do more than sweating our lungs out working or working out. I think modern times are eating our life away, we waste too much time working for a little comfort and forgetting the important things in life. we don't know what really counts in our lives . maybe all the buildings we built are zero compared to a kind word said to our sad neighbor in a rainy day. I confess that all those go -go things make me wish to sit on my b*tt and not move a finger, I usually ignore them

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RAINBOWCHOC 5/15/2013 11:36AM

    loved reading the blog AND all the responses, deserves to be a "featured blog"

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BEATLETOT 5/15/2013 11:18AM

    This blog popped up on my Friend Feed, and when I read it, I thought it was wonderful. You wrote so beautifully and really expressed something that I think we all feel so well. I'm clicking "I Liked This," because, well, I did. =)

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HIPPICHICK1 5/15/2013 10:55AM

    Navel gazing isn't just about oranges. I think people who think up those life slogans have humanity's best interest at heart but those slogans can often make one feel guilty or inspired, depending on how we handle guilt I suppose.

My favorite time wasters are not time wasters at all as it turns out. First of all I spend a lot of time on Spark and I just got a lovely note with a goodie this morning that made me cry. I am important to a few people here and they tell me so on a regular basis. How is that a waste of time? I love to play Scrabble on Facebook and have many games going. I do it because I'm exercising my brain. Not a time waster at all.

I think if most of us tried to make every minute count there would be a lot more anti anxiety meds being doled out by doctors globally.

Tonight, when my Pookie gets home we are going to eat dinner in front of the TV and watch the shows we love - Big Bang Theory and Mad Men. It's called "resting" not wasting time. And lordy knows we could both use some extra rest over here. We've been working HARD!!

Comment edited on: 5/15/2013 11:04:36 AM

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SUSANNAH31 5/15/2013 10:51AM

    'Down time' is what I call it, and to me it's a necessary part of life. There are some days when the body and/or the spirit just doesn't have what it takes. That's when I will watch a whole afternoon's worth of Hoarders - and just zone out for a while. No thinking is involved, just healing and resting.

Also, my soul is restored by those smaller private stolen moments that you mentioned: taking that long shower, or stopping to admire something beautiful, petting the purring cat on my lap, letting the tea steep, savoring someone's written words, lingering with a favorite memory.

I agree these are all important parts of our lives - and help to define us.

Guilt? Never!

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REBECCAMA 5/15/2013 10:39AM

  It's all perspective, isn't it? Yesterday I wanted to get my daughter signed up for summer camp (which is still 6 weeks away). I picked her up from school and we stopped at the doctor's office to get the paperwork. Then we COULD have made a mad dash to the camp office to get there before it closed OR we could and instead enjoy the beautiful gardens next door to the doctor's office. Sometimes watching a squirrel is more important than that mad dash, and YES we smelled the flowers too.

The camp office will still be there tomorrow or next week.

Certainly don't think anyone here will say we wasted our time.

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IMREITE 5/14/2013 8:42PM

    When we spend a lot of time feeling guily we spend les time feeling strong, gratetful for what we do have. We worry about little things and stress ourselves about every imperfection.
Sometimes wasting time is an easy way for ui to relax and unwind.

Comment edited on: 5/14/2013 8:44:00 PM

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DAWNSJOURNEY 5/14/2013 4:07PM

    whoo hoo girl.. I Love it. I Love to spend a rainy day in bed reading and nothing more..

While I do care about the earth and others .. I realize my limitations and do enjoy the moments of nothing or "time wasters" I can't go 24/7 my mind can but my body can't ..

Nothing feels as good as a nothing kind of day. I have them and don't feel guilty. I do what I can for human nature .. but don't obsess like it is my job..

Great Blog..
Hugs ,

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 5/14/2013 10:31AM

    What is a "waste of time"? For me it doing something I do not like, want to do, or am forced to do. My last job I was forced to sit in an office for 4 days a week doing nothing but waiting for a phone call or someone to stop in. Rarely happened. I was working 3 days until someone got the bright idea that we needed to open up one more day "just in case" someone would want to visit. I was bored and out of my mind. Needless to say I left the job. It was a waste of my time and their money. I would have been happier to work one day a week. It felt like prison.

But having the freedom to do the things I enjoy and want to do makes taking long showers if I feel like it (and can afford it) is a great idea. Watching movies or shows that entertain me regardless if it just Hoarders or a film epic is my choice. Having that CHOICE is what makes things a waste of time or not. Having a job you enjoy gives you you hate takes freedom away. So enjoy your freedom. THAT IS NOT A WASTE OF TIME.

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KENSHO 5/14/2013 9:28AM

    I really loved this blog. I'm more of a be present in every moment rather than a seize every moment kinda gal. I used to feel guilty about wasting time but I've changed a lot in the last couple of years and now I take my time and really soak in life. I've never been happier.

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SUSIQZER 5/14/2013 8:47AM

    Fantastic blog!!!!!

My husband and I recently had a conversation about how hard it was to be "good," and how the standard seemed impossible to reach! We'd never make it as vegans, can't always afford grass-fed, non-GMO, free-range, organic, made in the USA, etc. etc.

But we decided that we can be good enough. emoticon Heck, just think how many trees I saved by switching to Kindle books and magazines!!

And I agree completely that our time wasters define and sustain us! I'm not solving the world's problems when I'm watching Downton Abbey, but I don't care!!

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ADARKARA 5/14/2013 8:01AM

    As a person who doesn't give a rat's patootie about changing the world, either for better or worse, because the world is what it is, I agree, you should NOT feel guilty for "wasting time" taking a long shower. And if the goal is to "seize every moment" and a long shower beings you peace and comfort, then how is it wasting time? emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 5/14/2013 5:53AM

    Good for you for no longer feeling guilty. I read some of the inspirational sayings ("When you feel like you cannot go another step, just run,") and the like, and I think similar thoughts. I think about making every moment count, including moments that may not save the world, but that refresh me to do more with my "save the world moments." I can manage to see the absurdity of taking some of those inspirational phrases too literally. Where I struggle more is realizing the absurdity of comparing myself to those who do seem to live those crazy sayings. Why are other people my age doing this great thing or that great thing and generally being amazing, while I am overweight, struggling through school, and barely making ends meet while living in a one-bedroom apartment? I forget that their journey is different than mine and that is OK. Thanks for the reminder that some of us are Mere Mortals. emoticon

emoticon Lisa

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VALERIEMAHA 5/13/2013 11:37PM

    Uhhhhh, let's see...loooooooooong soaks with repeats on the hot water and a good book, stopping on the way home to look in on a friend, taking more time with said good book at some other point in the day, spiritual retreats, get comfy + close my eyes + zone out with Esperanza Spalding's spectacular music, head off to parts unknown with no agenda...oh, I could go on.

Some food for thought, "3 Ways to De-Clutter Your Life and Live Passionately:"

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GEMLADYONE 5/13/2013 10:33PM

    Yep, I think you've got it dead in the black. We all need to do what we should to take care of ourselves, our family, and neighbors. Part of that is just doing "nothing" sometimes, whatever that is. Me, I've got 2 cats snuggled up in the recliner with me and do I feel guilty? Nah... emoticon

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JLPEASE 5/13/2013 10:01PM

    Great blog! I love sleeping in and staying in my jammies all day sometimes. I also used to feel guilty about it, but I just don't care anymore and I'm tired of fighting my nature. This is who I am... deal with it!

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ISLANDNESTER 5/13/2013 9:36PM

  Well said,been relaxing since lunch:)

By the way,my husband and I love the Mother Theresa comment! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/13/2013 11:44:08 PM

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NORASPAT 5/13/2013 8:54PM

    Hi there have you always been a philosopher or is it just you sitting at home doing nothing. I cannot think you ever do nothing.
i have to be busy all the time otherwise I call it a waste of time. HUGS Dear one Pat in Maine.
HUGS and much Love Pat emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AUGUSTDRAGON 5/13/2013 8:35PM

    My idea of a good time waster-bad movies on the Science Fiction channel, and old japanese monster movies, ie" Godzilla, Mothra.

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    I worked for one of these people who made every moment count. Of course he was the one who decided what was worthy to do. LOL. He was a genius in some respects but an idiot in others. At some point you have to just please yourself and not worry about others. You will never please them. They will decide that you are wasting your time gardening, or reading or playing the flute because it doesn't interest them. I've always liked to be thought of as someone who plays well alone and sometimes well with others depending on how we both feel on that given day. LOL.

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AJDOVER1 5/13/2013 7:29PM

    Love this blog!

I work hard to stay on track and maintain all my good healthy habits. I belong to teams with incessant challenges and I'm currently logging my daily steps in no less than 5 different places. I do calf raises and squats while I brush my teeth. I do kegel exercises at red lights. If I linger in a steamy bathtub, it's only because I'm simultaneously soaking the hard water stains off the tile. I think I'm loosing my mind.

You are my hero.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/13/2013 7:21PM

    Omigosh, I feel good to be snuggling with the puppies for no good reason!

Beautifully said!

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LIZZIE888 5/13/2013 6:05PM

  So beautifully said.

And power to the joy of the aimless.

I would go further. I would say all this boundless optimism we're all supposed to exude causes us naught but grief. While not wanting to promote pessimism, there is a great deal to be said for having modest ambition and perhaps reining in those wild hopes, for it's having those hopes repeatedly dashed, as hearts are broken, ambitions are thwarted and our own mediocrity is reflected back to us, that leads us to despair. I think we should revel in the ordinary and stive to be satisfied with the plenty we already have, we already are.

Are we all unique little snowflakes dancing in the storm of life? Undoubtedly. But the thing about unique little snowflakes is they all look the same!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/13/2013 6:03PM

    I, GF, totally agree with you!!!

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MOM2ACAT 5/13/2013 5:40PM

    I agree, nothing wrong with slowing down and enjoying life, and sometimes, just doing nothing is the best thing to do.

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A Mother's Day Question:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

How could the years have gone by so quickly when some of the afternoons of toddlerhood were so incredibly long?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSANNAH31 5/15/2013 11:01AM

    Isn't that the truth!!


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GEMLADYONE 5/13/2013 12:00PM

    So true...we should have understood this when those afternoons were dragging...might have made it easier to get through!

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CRYSTALJEM 5/13/2013 11:25AM

    Oh when you find out the answer to that one, please pass it on!

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NORASPAT 5/13/2013 10:46AM

    You sure do have that right.
I enjoyed those days but I wish I had enjoyed them even more. HUGS and much love Pat in Maine.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CDCSMITH2013 5/13/2013 6:49AM


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ENUFF81020 5/12/2013 11:41PM

    it is so true--especially when I look at our youngest (of our 8)...It seems impossible that he could be in driver's ed now when I am sure that I was still getting him dressed yesterday. I don't get how time can fly in some ways and not in others.

Again, our oldest turned 31 in March and he sure seems to be the boy who needed me to explain when a kid was bullying him rather than being a friend. Some of these memories are not the kind I want to relive.

Happy Mother's Day,

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ACIMPEGGY 5/12/2013 7:56PM

    My Susie says I've changed since ACIM - I don't get mad at other drivers, for instance and the news on tv doesn't bother me as much. I try to remember to ask the Spirit within, "help me look at this another way..." Now I don't always have to's automatic to realize it's just an illusion.

Hey, we could be posting these comments of ours on the team page... emoticon

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STRONGDJ 5/12/2013 7:36PM

    YES! I was just thinking that yesterday.

Happy Mother's day.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/12/2013 7:23PM

    Here are two gifts for you (I have no comment, since I forgot to have children):



Happy Day (every day)!

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    hehe.. not a mom so I don't know.. but funny still!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/12/2013 2:57PM

    I know! And how do the decades speed by so quickly when a year used to be a lengthy chunk of time? And why do I feel that I can remember the days of the old Queen Victoria so well when I really wasn't there? But I find tomorrow a bit unimaginable?

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LUCKYSTAR99 5/12/2013 2:37PM

    My toddler has some molars coming in and is getting over being sick so it has been a looooong and fussy afternoon for us, but thankfully it is naptime now. And naptime for Mommy too! I love my little guy so much and I know it will all go by fast, but sometimes it really, really does seem like we have some long days. emoticon

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_UMAMI_ 5/12/2013 1:07PM

    Who said, "The days are long, the years are short"? So true.

Mine are still youngish (11 and 13), but I miss their younger selves.

Happy Mother's Day!

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SUZYMOBILE 5/12/2013 11:49AM

    Yes, yes. Have a wonderful Mother's Day! You've earned one.


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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/12/2013 11:45AM

    LOL!! So true!!! Happy Mother's Day!

Comment edited on: 5/12/2013 11:45:53 AM

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SLIMLILA 5/12/2013 11:42AM

    Ain't that the truth? Last year I was enjoying my 1 y.o. g.d. and this year my oldest dd turned 40!!!!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/12/2013 11:37AM

    I totally agree! I would give my right arm to have one of those afternoons back!!! I've heard a quote "the days drag, but the years fly". I'm not sure that's it but that's the gist of it. Have a good day!

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YMWONG22 5/12/2013 11:21AM

  Happy Mother's Day to all mothers and mine too.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ACIMPEGGY 5/12/2013 11:19AM

    You said it! Best days of my life, in some ways, working outside the home, crafts, walked everywhere pushing a stroller...120-125#. Wow! Trying to get there again!

emoticon emoticon

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Reboot and miscellaneous, more personal stuff

Friday, May 10, 2013

The real estate closing finally went through, so I now don't need to move. I have a (small) nest egg, a steady income through the mortgage (which I'm holding, not because a bank wouldn't accept the borrowers - I learned that lesson years ago - but because the buyers are Amish and don't want to deal with "English" banks right now. It's all good - no worries) and several part-time jobs that I love - one as greenhouse keeper and landscaper for Heritage Farm ( ), one writing, one growing organic things and one doing artsy stuff. I'll get the links up for those in the near future, for anyone who wants to know what I do in my "spare time".

I've been marginally interested in the fact that I seem to have grown some sort of emotional exoskeleton that is fear-proof. I'm not afraid of change, but I'm not especially interested in it, fear, but no...other emotions that humans seem to relish. But that's not what we're here to talk about.

Parenthetical: (I've finally come to terms with the fact that, as a widow, an orphan with no relatives and an empty-nest person with no money to speak of, I have no one to please and no one to whom to be accountable but myself. I'm trying to figure out where one goes from here. I really am trying, and thanks to Bereavement counseling, I'm making some progress.)

Anyway, the thing about the land sale that becomes relevant here is that, now that I have money to spend on stuff, I seem to have reverted to old bad habits - too much salt, too much alcohol (can you read "margaritas" in this?") and generally eating Whatever instead of planning decent food. This, obviously, is not acceptable. I'm halfway through my weight loss, and I'll be damned if I'm going to regain the first half rather than going on to lose the second.

I bought a juicer (a Samson ...Advanced? Evolved? Improved? Anyway, better than the last one) and am preparing to do a Juice Reboot ( ) Please don't tell me how this isn't good for me long term - I don't intend to do it long term. I just need something incredibly structured to get myself turned around to face front again. I'm also growing wheatgrass to juice - the cats ate my first batch, but I'm replanting.

As if that weren't enough, I'm also doing the Spring Into Summer Challenge. Responsibility, thy name is Scooter. I will do for others what I would never bother to do for myself (we'll address that another time as well), so in order not to let my team down, I'll keep up with it. All the weighing and measuring and recording and generally trying to Play Well with Others.

I figure that between buying a new piece of moderately expensive kitchen equipment and being in a situation where others count on me, my Scots blood will keep me on track.

In fact, I'm seriously considering having the MacNeal badge tattooed on my person. It wouldn't be my first ink...that was 18 years ago, when my baby went to kindergarten. I took a sledgehammer to my bathroom, sold my Mercedes for $1 to the bathroom repair man - it needed $10,000 worth of body work - and got my first tattoo. Yet another thing for another day. I'll apparently be bending your ears (eyes?) for some time to come.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ENUFF81020 5/12/2013 11:53PM

    Hi there,

I am impressed with your tone and your own control over motivation and action. I wasn't aware of all you have dealt with until I read this, and all I can think of to say is "Wow!!" You have really made a lot of tough decisions in a tough situation. Good for you--and a few margueritas in the big picture won't mean that you are tossing your healthy living program. I think we all need to indulge a bit and then, we realize what we need and want. You have done that.

Best wishes on your challenge and your weight loss program. I suspect you will make it just because that's who you are. Congratualtions on it all!!

Gentle hugs,

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SUZYMOBILE 5/12/2013 10:51AM

    The more I think about your blog, the better it sounds! Forgive me if you don't like her, but it puts me in mind of a Nora Roberts novel where the resourceful heroine triumphs over adversity, keeps her lovely old homestead, makes a living doing delightful things like running a bookstore, writing novellas, or growing herbs (with the Amish, even). All that's missing is the strapping young carpenter who lives in the farm across the way.

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NORASPAT 5/11/2013 9:12PM

    Scooter I am so happy you are able to finally have a small nest egg to fall back on. Your jobs sound absolutely great. Right in your area of expertise.

Are you able to do any of them at home or do you need to commute. I was whacking at my clay last night and i was thinking of you at every stroke. Today i was able to have day off because of the rain. I transplanted hostas and boy that took some S.T. for sure. I got them into the area beneath the trees . Tree roots are worse than clay but clay and roots together took too much time and many tools. Hostas are looking good.
Today I bought red lupins just because DH loves them and they too will go in my small area.
I hope you are feeling good about this wonderful turnaround. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Pat in Maine.
I hope you will come to see the ocean this summer.

Comment edited on: 5/11/2013 9:13:21 PM

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AJDOVER1 5/11/2013 8:54PM

    You are an amazing courageous woman. I'm glad we're sharing this part of our journey together.

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    I'm so glad your dire financial worries are over. I was very concenred if you would starve to death or freeze to death. It's very stressful to watch a friend deal with things like this when they have had to go through what you have.

I love your part time jobs. They sound perfectly suited for you, (and me!) LOL.

I would be in a similar situation if something happened to my husband. I think you are coping well. You have made some really hard decisions that are excellent.

Good luck with the juicing and the challenge.

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AUGUSTDRAGON 5/11/2013 6:27PM

    You go girl and I am of the opinion since margarita and moderation both start with "M" they are made for each other. emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 5/11/2013 12:53PM

    Well, you've never been one to beat yourself up for too long. Enjoy the juicer and the Challenge as much as you can, and REALLY enjoy that peace of mind that comes with not having to move out! You sound as if you're doing great, frankly.

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_UMAMI_ 5/11/2013 11:31AM

    I keep wondering if you keep any chickens.......

A few celebratory margaritas are understandable. You're in a good place, and your head is on straight. You have much to celebrate.


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JANEDOE12345 5/11/2013 9:33AM

    Great energy!

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HIPPICHICK1 5/11/2013 9:02AM

    It sounds to me like you're doing a fine, fine job getting along. I'm with the Amish on the banks. I wouldn't want to deal with them either. Personally I keep as much cash OUT of the bank as I can. Recently I realized I could save $25 a year in bank fees and interest if I paid for my car insurance all in one go rather than in monthly installments directly from my bank for which the bank charges, so my goal is to have $400 saved up for that come November, and another $1000 for new tires.

Have fun with the challenge (although for me personally I felt it was far too much pressure and far too much extra time spent on the computer). I hope your juicing goes really well too and that you get the wheat grass before the cats.

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SOXYINMO 5/11/2013 8:52AM

    Love the strength and determination! emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/11/2013 8:33AM

    So many similar things that parallel my life, including the tattoos. And emotions that humans seem to relish, and no fear. Congrats on finding several things
you enjoy doing part-time. That's a huge step right there. Big hug.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/11/2013 8:02AM

    Wow!! You are definitely moving to a "better" place in your life!! Hooray for you. You, GF, deserve lots of good things in your life. It may have been hard to sell that land but now you have some security. Look at you doing all sorts of things with your life. Love the Heritage Farm concept and I'm eager to hear about your other exploits. I can't tell you how happy I am to hear you are receiving bereavement counseling. That is a gift to yourself!! I am thrilled at where you are!!! Nobody deserves it more!!!

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DEEKELLYE 5/11/2013 7:21AM

    Good luck with the spring into summer challenge! I'm in it as well. I'm not as far as you are in my weight loss challenge but the small amount I have lost I don't want to gain or find it again. We can do this!

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OWL_20 5/11/2013 6:10AM

    Hi Scooter, saw you on Awesome A Team and I love your icon. Sounds like you're moving forward and thinking about possibilities, that's a great start. You're halfway thru the weight loss--I think that's awesome! And I really love the determination that's sneaking out of your blog. Hang in there, you're not alone. P.S. I would love to hear about the tattoo, too, hehe.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/10/2013 11:05PM

    Me too, said it so very well!
emoticon(X 2)
BTW, I will be front-and-center when you decide to delve into, "I've finally come to terms with the fact that, as a widow, an orphan with no relatives and an empty-nest person with no money to speak of, I have no one to please and no one to whom to be accountable but myself. I'm trying to figure out where one goes from here. I really am trying, and thanks to Bereavement counseling, I'm making some progress."

I have no living nuclear family and no other relatives I'm in contact with, no children, no significant other, haven't had any counseling (nor can I afford it)...and at times I have some issues around all of that

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KRISKECK 5/10/2013 10:57PM

    Sounds like a bit more security in the money department overall will be a good thing even if you're going a little overboard now. It must be a relief. I love your determination and your self-observation skills. You are made of strong stuff, I am sure you will achieve your goals. And probably also begin to feel again...bu that is a whole 'nother thing, isn't it?

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SUSANNAH31 5/10/2013 10:19PM

    Your new life sounds deliciously complex and rich with possibilities.
Congratulations on making it all happen.

I especially like your determination to stick to your weight loss plan.
"I'm halfway through my weight loss, and I'll be damned if I'm going to regain the first half rather than going on to lose the second."

I agree!


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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Well. It looks as though last year's experiment - let the back yard go totally wild, and have a lovely meadow full of flowers - was a Complete Fail. Rather than a meadow, I got a scrubby patch full of burdock and brambles, studded here and there with hidden piles of dog...leavings. The point of the trial - aside from sheer laziness - was that a friend had reported great success with this, and that the yard is extremely uneven, everything from trees coming out (or going in) to a sinking leach field to Lord alone knows what other reasons.

I thought I'd spend today out there hauling out a large hunk of a cherry tree, an apple tree that died but resprouted from the root stock (which never works, incidentally - they graft the good apple tree onto different root stock and you rarely get anything usable from the regrowth), digging out the burdock and the brambles, raking everything out and generally getting ready for this summer, in which I'll do everything differently. emoticon

About an hour into this, emoticon I realized that the only progress Lucy the Dog and I had made was that we were both covered with burdock pricklies. We also discovered that the wire fence (that covers and is taller than the post fence to which it is attached) has come down in several places. If it were a house, we would say, "This is no longer a fix-up. This is a teardown." emoticon

So I went inside to consider and retrench. New plan: on Monday I'm going to retrieve my tractor from my neighbor. After he starts my chainsaw for me ( emoticon ) I'm going to cut down the apple tree that is regrowing, the 1/3 of the cherry tree that blew down in a winter storm (we'll see if it lives - I hope so), and then hook the rake onto the tractor and rake it that way. I'll need to go back and dig out the brambles, but all the dead grass will be done with. Then, I think, I'm going to try smoothing out the lumps with the back blade. If that doesn't work, I'll borrow the backhoe. Have to be careful of weight, though, because of the Stupid Leach Field. Once it's leveled, the grass should come back easily and I can proceed with Normal Yard. Need a new grade door out there too (that's that slanted door that covers the steps to a cellar) - mine apparently gave up under the snow load.

Not sure yet how to handle the fence. I really ought to unfasten all the wire, lay stone, then put the fence up again so the grass won't grow and the base (and thus no whacking) but I doubt I'll do that properly. I'll probably whack it once, then lay newspaper over it, then mulch and hope for the best. emoticon

The front gardens are still waiting for their fall clean-up, so I need to get busy on that right away. Part of the stone wall fell out - again - so I may pull that all down and relay it, but I seriously doubt it. Likely I'll just put the stones in a neat pile and hope for the best (you'll note I do a lot of that.)

Have to chop out half the rugosa, which is now roughly the size of a small SUV, and chop down the Japanese honeysuckle (again.) Maybe I'll chain it to the tractor and just rip it out. Messy but quick.

Then the raised beds have to be cleaned up and the paths around then cleared and re-papered and mulched.

And that's all before any planting can happen. Luckily there are some bulbs blooming here and there to encourage me. emoticon

But luckily (I suppose...) I have about another month before I can really plant anything, because of our absurdly late frost date - and I hate ditzing with plants, dashing out to cover them if they are in danger. I plant them once and wish them well. Sure, I do all the maintenance type stuff, but that's later, and it's fun, I think.

The "Life" part comes in when you realize that this would have been much simpler if I'd attended to it properly last fall. Like so many Life Issues, the old Stitch In Time thing pertains. Also, that things happen when you're not looking - the wall falls down, the tree splits, the grade door caves in, there's a giant ant nest in the fire circle - and they are, in all probability, not going to be discoveries that will be good news emoticon I'm sure there's some lesson here that I ought to learn, but probably won't.

Here's what it looked like last year:

And I'm not just an enthusiast - I'm a NY certified landscaper, arborist and master gardener, so if anyone has a problem (anything, if you're in the northeast, only very general stuff if you're in, say, Texas), describe it to me and I'll try to have an answer for you, or at least tell you whom to ask.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUGUSTDRAGON 5/7/2013 10:24PM

    I'm exhausted after reading your blog. Makes me thankful that I have no yard issues beyond keeping the bears out of the bird feeders. Anything I plant outside is immediately consumed by deer or violently uprooted by squirrels and raccoon. I'd love to have flowers!

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ALAINEBUG 5/6/2013 9:16AM

    You are a miracle worker. Welcome to M&M.

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 5/4/2013 11:06PM

    What a beautiful garden.

When the time is right you will be able to juice. Don't stress over it.


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KRISKECK 5/1/2013 5:10PM

    Beautiful yard and stone wall - and what a lot to do! I love to garden but am happy to have a postage stamp yard after spending years with a pretty big one (although nowhere near as big as yours!). Good luck with all of that - and I wish I had your skills and talents!

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FLORIDASUN 4/30/2013 2:44PM

    Holy tomatoe...and wowsa~ too!

I was in blog reading planting bliss over one of my friends gardens and the steps she is going through to get it ready...she posts tons of pictures so it's perfect for visual me! friend...your little saga adds a WHOLE new universe of green thumb bliss to my world!

Talk about deferred maintenance... we aren't doing a blasted THING around this house until we know if the creepster bankers are going to succeed in stealing it from us. I've blogged long and exhaustively about the whole sorry mess. emoticon

Well we did have to break down and replace our a/c compressor to the tune of over $ choice there...we live in friggin' 100 degree weather with 100% humidity at 6 a.m!

BUT if I could have put that nasty little maintenance item off too.. I would have. Why spend our hard earned $$$ for some creepster that is going to scoop in and steal this place for pennies on the dollar.

WHICH of course brings me to a WHOLE nut'her rant...why do the banks steal these homes from hard working earnest homeowners that have paid the price to get these so called modification payments with everything but their blood the house away and then go right out and sell it to someone off the street (or more likely their brother if it's a great house like ours) for pennies on the dollar???

Of course they move it off their books and probably get a bail out from the good ole' government...but really if they are going to take a loss..why not work with the homeowner and give them the same sweet deal they are getting?

Makes no sense to me..and I'm a pretty common sense gal from Iowa.

Can't wait to see all your sounds like you will be burning that calorie meter BIG time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    We knew a guy my hubby used to work with who lived at a lake near here who tried the wild yard experiment too. It looked like some place in the Amazon. People had trouble finding his front door. I think he did too. Apparently some clever teens took advantage of the overgrown mess and planted a pot plant which grew to amazing heights until the cops noted it and showed up on his doorstep. They have dogs that are smarter than people and can find front doors. I guess he had seen the plant but both he and his wife thought it was pretty and that the other one had planted it. The cops were not as thrilled with it. LOL.

Comment edited on: 4/29/2013 10:12:13 PM

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NORASPAT 4/28/2013 11:07PM

    You know that is just about what happens to me. I always did great work for my clients but many of my clothes waited till I was desperate for them or I outgrew them during the time lapse.

I have finished my fence and DH was impressed.
If I had taken the fence out (NO WAY) I could have done the trench in hours but no way put the fence back. we live on BLUE clay .
I love listening to yout life.

HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon so much emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/28/2013 6:06PM

    OK! I'm exhausted just reading this blog! Tractor? Chainsaw? Backhoe? Really??? I used to plant and weed, etc. but not much anymore. I do not have much of a green thumb so my husband by default started planting, weeding. His thumb is much greener than mine. However, now my husband's interest has waned and our yard has suffered. I can't get organized inside let alone add outside chores!!!

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SUZYMOBILE 4/28/2013 5:37PM

    Well, it all looked delightful last year. So northeast that it makes me pine a little bit. I'd ask you for advice about staghorn ferns, ti plant, orchids, and sea hibiscus, but I suspect your specialty is hosta and columbine!

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_UMAMI_ 4/28/2013 11:18AM

    Whew! Our yard is a mess, and I'm actually making an effort this year, after two years of letting it go. We have a tree falling, slow as a glacier, across our front yard, that we should take down, but no $$$ or chainsaw to do so. I just loaded up on zinnias, pentas and lantana, 'cos I love watching butterflies and hummingbirds in our yard.

I love your stone wall! I might even attempt something like that in our yard. One of these days.

I don't have a green thumb, but I have moon in Taurus, so maybe there is hope for me.

I'll certainly be taking up your offer of "general" advice. Wish I lived further north, because I would LOVE some peonies or ranunculas. Or even Dahlias, which are native to Mexico, but our nights are too warm here.

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HIPPICHICK1 4/28/2013 10:20AM

    So much to do and so little day light in which to do it! All the best of luck with the outdoor "reno's."

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KASEYCOFF 4/28/2013 2:08AM

    I love you dearly, you know I do, but everything you've just described is exactly why my dream is to be a tenant of a well-kept property, lol... "Blackthumb" be my middle name.

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ISLANDNESTER 4/27/2013 10:15PM

  I got a great work out just reading your blog emoticon I love reading about people fixing things up,"Under the Tuscan Sun" was a delight for this very reason.Your old house is great,and the stonework brings back memories of living in New Hampshire as a teen.Enjoy your beautiful gardens!

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FLAMENM 4/27/2013 7:34PM

    Happy gardening!

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CDCSMITH2013 4/27/2013 7:16PM

    I wish I could teleport you here for a general opinion of the yard. What should be kept, what should be trimmed back. A good portion of the yard/property is left in its natural state (a river runs through the property). We have deer that come in, nesting swans, all sorts of very cool things meander in. I don't want that to change, but I'd like to strike a balance.

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VALERIEMAHA 4/27/2013 5:17PM

    LOL..."I'm sure there's some lesson here...."

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JULESJET 4/27/2013 4:49PM

    Sounds like you have great plans for your yard!
I wish you luck!

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