Tuesday, September 06, 2011
In early May we expanded our urban garden in anticipation of summer by planting corn, for my hubby and sunflowers for me. Every morning we’d sit side by side and drink our coffee as we counted the days to harvest. We enjoyed every stage of their growth through out the season. From the damp dirt that rose in clumps just before a hint of green popped into view to the late afternoon rustlings of the spent corn stalks standing proud guarding the last sunflower of summer.
The in-between times were met with joy and wonder as the corn and sunflowers raced to clear the garden wall and smile down on our neighbors. At first we had to bend and look down on the tiny plants but quickly found they were almost as tall as our grandkids.
Oh yeah, the children grew like weeds this summer too but it was a race the kids could not win.
It was a friendly race between the corn and sunflowers and before we knew it they were ten to twelve feet high.
Once the corn was ripe and the sunflowers reached their peek we had to lift each child to get a closer look at their incredible beauty.
I felt like Alice as we stood in awe of our own little wonderland watching the busy bees and wasps work their magic from sun up to sun down, just for an ear or two of corn per stock and the slow awakening of sunflower smiles.
We ate the corn raw, roasted and boiled. Warmed from the sun, hot off the grill and cold in salads, soups and relishes. More than 40 ears found their way from plants to hungry tummy's... a summer to remember. Along with our tortoises we all ate like kings this summer while the sunflowers graced our yard, decorated our home and lit up the faces of happy receivers.
It’s been hard to say good-bye to my sunflower summer. So I’ve saved several stalks of corn and tied them together awaiting the arrival of fall. I let the sunflowers dry on their stocks then harvested the seeds.
I cleaned, soaked, dried and roasted them in honor of all that they could be, which is more than just a healthy snack. I won’t have to buy seeds next year. It’s amazing how each tiny seed planted grew to produce only one flower with hundreds of future promises. Except for one seed that produced ten flowers on a single stock!!
I’ve carefully saved her bounty and next spring we will plant those seeds and count the days ‘till summer when we will once again enjoy Mother Natures’ boundless gifts.
“From seed to seed the smile of the sunflower is passed on.”
Turn on your sound and please enjoy this time lapse video of the life of a Sunflower….. farewell to the last sunflower of summer
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Fourteen months ago today, when I joined Sparkpeople, there was no way I wanted to live to be 100. That was another 37 years and I was not feelin’ good about myself or healthy in any way. My dear husband was not only dropping me off and picking me up right in front of everywhere we went but I couldn’t drive myself and park and walk and then shop. I couldn’t go any where without my cane. I was ordering my groceries online and having them delivered. I had to pick and choose what I could do that wouldn’t take me a week to recover from. I had five grandkids that I had never gone to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm with even though we live only minutes from both. The less I did the less I could do. My 82 year old mother has chronic back pain that has taken over her life and I didn’t want to be like that in 20 years. One day I realized that I was her…. only 19 years younger. At this pace I was going to be in far worse shape, or dead by then, if I didn’t start taking responsibility for my own well being. I could hardly walk let alone exercise so it had to start with what I was putting in my mouth because only I had control of what I ate, when I ate and how much I was eating.
So I joined SP to save my life….. literally!! Without medical insurance I couldn’t afford gastric by-pass, even though my orthopedic surgeon said I was certainly eligible. In all sincerity it wasn’t the route I wanted to take any way so it was up to me because, like it or not, I had a lot of living ahead of me. I knew I wanted to out live my mom. She’s buried a son and husband and the least I could do was save her the sorrow of burying her only daughter and having to console my children and grandchildren. I wanted to out live my DH because I know how lonely widowhood can be. I wanted to be a good example to other family who were struggling with health issues of their own. I wanted to live so my children felt when it was time to let me go I had enjoyed a long and happy life. I wanted to live long enough to watch all my grandkids reach adulthood and not be without the unconditional love that only grandparents can give them. I wanted desperately to be able to hold my great-grandchildren like my mom and my dad got to do. So I’m guessing another 30 years just might do it!!! My neighbor is 93. My mom’s neighbor lived to be 97. My daughter-in-laws grandma is 95… in fact we’ve had a lot of family members live well into their nineties. Besides I’d love to be married another 30 years to my sweetie pie… the last 30 were pretty darn good and I’m just starting to really, really like the guy
Fact… Centenarians are the fastest-growing age segment: Number of 100-year-olds to hit 6 million by 2050. WoW… I’m right on target for that date. Today the life expectancy for a woman living in the US is more than 80 years now and the fact that I’ve reached 64 makes it even more promising. Every pound I lose and year I live ups the probability so if you see me logging in every day it’s more than likely I’ll live to celebrate my 65th birthday in June of 2012.
Today I celebrate 14 months of Sparking with more successes than I could have imagined. The cane’s gone; we park and walk together where ever we go. I can shop alone again and enjoyed a family camping trip this summer that I could only dream of the last 10 years. I’m gardening again and swimming in public. I’ve lost 67 pounds and I’m excited to wake up every day and face new challenges. There’s a bright future ahead of me that I welcome with open arms….. Thank God I’ve got a hundred years to live.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
“How are you celebrating the DIY Challenge Finale?”
With pride and a pat on the back!
Yay, I’m a finisher… I learned long ago that saying “yes” to every thing is the road to failure for me. So I don’t join in unless I’m committed to following through. It’s okay to say no. If you bite off more than you can chew you just may choke so I’m learning that moderation leads to balance which in turn can be reason for lots of celebrating. So this weekend we will have plenty of opportunity to exercise (so I’m ready for the final weigh-in) and then end each day by clinking glasses over candlelight.
While enjoying homemade meals of marinated wild pacific mahi mahi with sweet mango and roasted peppers, whole wheat noodles, broccoli, sliced tomatoes, from the garden, with feta cheese. BBQ chicken with more roasted garden veggies and fettuccini.
Beautiful food to nourish the body, mind, & soul. Remembering that you are what you eat so eat the best. My healthy journey isn’t all about what I can’t eat any more… it’s all about what I can and how empowered I’ve become since joining SparkPeople when I thought of food as my frenemy. What a concept!!
Thank you YOOVIE for the challenge. It was awesome just like YOU…
And if you are a DIY teammate and would like a pat on the back… step right up.
Above all remember…
So first and foremost FINISH what you start.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
1. How many fitness minutes did you rack up in Assignment 2?
Tuesday... 60, Wednesday...60, Thursday... rest day 0, Friday, 30… total = 150 minutes
2. If you picked a day to add up how many calories you drank... what was the total? If you didn't count, do it on one day this weekend. Just the calories you drink.
I generally only drink water but occasionally I have a glass of wine with dinner or an 8oz glass of Naked Green Machine Juice for a snack = 140 calories. A few days a week I have a 30 gram protein shake 160 calories… every day I do have two cups of coffee with 2% milk and sugar at 99 calories.
3. This weekend, you either have to make and take a picture of two beautiful healthy meals you create, and upload the pic to Sparkpeople...
Started in our freggie garden for Saturday nights dinner.
Created this 471 calories, 41 carbs, 17 fat, 35 protein, 260 sodium.
Baked Wild Alaskan Marinated Sockeye Salmon
Grilled pineapple rings
Red potatoes w/scallions
Grilled green peppers
Sunday morning breakfast….433 calories, 73 carbs, 13 fat, 13 protein, 293 sodium.
Whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter and smiley prune face what an oxymoron!!!! Seven fresh fruits cup with strawberries from our freggie garden and 2 cups coffee with 2% milk and sugar.
4. Get in a workout this weekend that totally screams YEAH IM STILL ON BOARD! SEE! IM STILL FIGHTING!
Going to a wedding this afternoon and plan to dance my ass off
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