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SENIORSWIMMER's Recent Blog Entries

Weather update

Monday, May 20, 2013

The weather band went off almost hourly in the early part of the night. We were under a tornado watch for awhile. Coffeyville, 15 miles to our southeast, was ordered to take cover, but we just had lots and lots of rain. We had 4.9 inches of rain in our gauge this morning.

I cleaned out the closet where we take cover. This is the only time of year the floor in there gets vacuumed. (How often do you vacuum the closet floor?) I left everything out, because more storms are in the forecast for today and tonight.

The cats did not like being put in their carriers. Too bad. They will likely spend some time in them tonight, too.

I saw one of my friends from Coffeyville this morning. She said they mostly just had wind and hail. Some trees are down. She didn't say anything about losing power.

I am so thankful for the rain. It was so good to see our ditch full of water this morning and water running down the streets downtown. We can live without hail and tornadoes, thank you very much!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINAGIN2 5/20/2013 4:33PM

    I am glad that the storms missed you but, at least, you did get rain! We could use some rain here, too.

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Shopping the Spark Menu

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We are not on menu right now. My goal date to go for it again is the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Most days I'm not even tracking. Some days are good. Some days are not. Yesterday was a not day. I think I'm in a miserable spot. The old junk food meals I used to love don't taste as good as they did! And I feel TERRIBLE after I eat them. Chicken strips at DQ was my downfall yesterday. I had a coupon! It wasn't worth it. How many times am I going to have to go through this scenario before I make the healthy choice?

The problem I had with shopping the Spark menu is that you cannot purchase just 2 cups of spinach around here. You have to get a whole bag. We had a lot of food leftover from the week. I don't want to think about how much we threw out. We can't afford it. I did enjoy the variety and playing with the recipes. The spinach in our garden is ready now. Now I can go out to the garden and cut 2 cups of spinach. Lettuce will probably be ready to cut next week.

So, the new plan is to pick just two or three days worth of menus each week, and repeat them. I want nothing to go to waste. No overcooking (as in cooking too much food). I learned how to cook feeding hay hands. You would think an army is coming over, and it's just the two of us! We do freeze ahead, although I am somewhat interested in getting away from that in favor of freshly cooked food on the table. I also want to free up freezer space for produce from our garden and maybe a 1/4 beef purchased from the farm we visited Saturday.

I guess I have given up sticking to the Spark Menu strictly. There's no allowance for going out to eat or special occasions. I would not have a problem serving the Southwest Grilled Tenderloin to friends. It was delicious. I want to try that rub on some chicken breasts.

We are having some drought relief. The reservoir is back up to its normal level, and the water ban has been lifted. It's so nice to Miracle Gro and not worry if you're going to get a ticket for doing it. Our spring has been cool and wet. I can't keep up with the chives and onions. We have been sharing with our next door neighbor. I'm thinking about branching out in the neighborhood. Our other neighbor has a house full of company coming this weekend. All the cool weather crops are thriving. Beans and okra are struggling.

I tied my first oboe reed of the season last night. There's a band board meeting tomorrow night. Here we go! It's summer. I am so looking forward to being home all summer this year.

Have a great end of the week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm with you on not wasting food. I'm so glad to hear that you are now able to shop from your own garden! I'd bet your neighbor would be greatly appreciative of any shared produce! I think the sparkmenu is a summer-time menu anyway, and just never looked do-able over this winter. Not for me anyway!

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HEALTHY-SPARK 5/17/2013 12:03PM

    I haven't tried the spark menu for that reason -- I find it really difficult to buy all the things necessary when I'm only goign to use a small portion of it -- and then it goes to waste. What I've found it trying to incorporate a couple meals here and there. It lets me try new things usually, but I still have the flexibility to add and subtract as desired.

That's great you've got spinach growing in your garden! Would love to have fresh organic produce from my own yard -- oh wait, I don't have a yard in my apartment! :-)

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WALLINMW 5/16/2013 9:05AM

  Stay on track!

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    The good thing about a live interaction group like Weight Watchers is that you can find a "shopping buddy" and buy the whole bag of spinach and divide it between you. Alternatively, let the freezer be your shopping buddy on freezable items and for the rest, spinach two days in a row isn't so bad.

Make Today a Great Day!

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Gardening and Yard Work

Saturday, May 11, 2013

This is the first year we have had a garden since I retired. It is just big enough I am having trouble keeping up with Spark. My days are so full, but not hurried. Retirement is awesome.

We visited a whole foods organic farm this morning. They have a little bit of everything. We can even buy 1/4 beef from them - grass or feed finished. We are both old farm kids. Beef cattle was a major source of our parents' income. We were both raised on home grown beef. I doubt we ever give up red meat. It would be so nice to have access to chemical free beef like we grew up with.

My first purchase is going to be honey. They have bee hives, and the best medicine for allergies is local honey. Yay! An excuse to sweeten my peppermint tea!

I am heading to the garden to hoe and hill potatoes. I think I'm going to harvest more chives for the dehydrator today. The weather has been perfect for growing those two things. Cool and wet. I think the chives have been growing about a quarter inch a day. We're going to have new red potatoes (from the store) with fresh chives tonight for supper. Green beans and tenderloin are also on the menu. Ooooo....making myself hungry. I'd better get to work.

Have an awesome weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It sounds like you are having a blast! You give me hope for life after my hubby retires - I was worried it might drive me up the!

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THINAGIN2 5/11/2013 5:40PM

    By the time you hoe that garden you will really be ready for the good food! Have a good day!

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Chickpea Stew

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Okay. I think I'm getting the hang of it. When the Spark Menu just gives you general directions or a recipe embedded in the menu, it's pretty bland as written. We love spices. I have started finishing these foods with lots of spices, except salt.

I looked with some trepidation upon the chickpea stew instructions. I pulled a large green onion from our garden and sautéed it in the olive oil. Then I followed the directions. Near the end of cooking I added a lot of oregano and basil. We were out of colby cheese, so I used grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons for each of us. I went out to the garden again and clipped a few fresh basil leaves for garnish, which we both promptly tore up on top of the stew.


Once again, the lady who threatened to install a salt lick in the family room a few weeks ago was not tempted to pick up the salt shaker.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Haha... a salt lick in the family room. That's funny.

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3016DEBRA 5/6/2013 12:15PM

  Sounds yummy...I think it's always fun to tweak any recipe to fit your tastes. They're just giving us the basics maybe. Have a good one! emoticon

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ERIN_POSCH 5/4/2013 10:43AM

    awsome....there are also a lot of variations on SPARKRECIPES.COM -- I'll be playing around with this one as well!

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Spaghetti with meat sauce

Friday, May 03, 2013

I made spaghetti with meat sauce yesterday. I used all ground turkey. I had never done that before. When I've used ground turkey, I've used half turkey, half lean ground beef. I used canned tomatoes, and I added LOTS of home grown oregano and basil, plus a little onion powder. It was quite good. The herbs helped me not to reach for the salt shaker. I figured there was enough salt in the tomatoes to take care of my sodium needs!

DH took it in his lunch today. I imagine he will like it. He isn't a picky eater.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    DH liked it too. It's a hit. Another recipe in the healthy arsenal.

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    Herbs make all the difference, I think! Turkey in chili can be delicious too. I'm so glad you enjoyed the change.

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HEALTHY-SPARK 5/3/2013 11:32AM

    YUM. Sounds yummy. I pretty much only cook with ground turkey if I need ground meat of some kind. Can't remember the last time I've had red meat of any kind. But I think it's good. I used to like making little lettuce cups with it Ground turkey, some salsa, shredded lettuce and a bit of cheese in a lettuce cup. Haven't had that in a long while though. Mmmm. :-)

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