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SENIORSWIMMER's Recent Blog Entries


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The tornado sirens wailed for quite awhile yesterday afternoon. DH was at work. I was downtown getting my car worked on. The cats were home alone. What bothered me the most was us all being separated.

The tornado touched down on the west side of town, near Four County Mental Health. That's about a mile from where DH works. DH and his students took cover. He said the wind was bad, and there was a lot of rain, but he hadn't heard that there was any damage.

Downtown had no wind. The rain just came straight down in buckets.

When I got home, we had .1 inch in the rain gauge for the day. Couldn't believe it. 3 different locations in town. 3 totally different weather experiences. We aren't that big of a town!

The garden could stand to dry out for a few days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENIORSWIMMER 5/23/2013 10:11AM

    I had to stop watching the news yesterday. I was sobbing. All those teachers in Moore...I am praying for them. There is hope. We have watched Joplin rebuild this last year since the tornado there. Most places you can't tell a tornado went through. They seem to be coming back stronger than ever.

The hail shredded our two short rows of lettuce. The potatoes beside them and the carrots behind them look untouched.....Weird. The long row of lettuce is still good to go. The lettuce was the only loss we had.

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    When I heard the news that KS had been hit some, I immediately thought of you (and my cousin.) I'm so relieved to hear you are ok!

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LASTBASTION 5/21/2013 9:14AM

    Glad to hear that you and your family are okay. So many others were not so fortunate. My heart just breaks listening to the news and all the people affected by this storm.


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MJRVIC2000 5/21/2013 9:13AM

    Pray for the storm families in Oklahoma! God Bless YOU! Vic.

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SUNSHINE99999 5/21/2013 9:11AM

  I only experienced one such storm when I much younger, but the memory is still vivid in my mind. I'm glad you are okay! emoticon

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CANDACEMM 5/21/2013 9:05AM

    I dont know you, but I'm very happy that you didn't suffer any damage and that your family is ok. What I keep seeing on the news is horrible ... just horrible.

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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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