Monday, July 30, 2007

Annual Worship at Portland Prairie Methodist Church near Caledonia

In the beautiful rolling hills of non-glacial Houston County, southeast corner of Minnesota, the congregation was founded in 1855.
Ninety-four-year old descendant of founders, also his wife, three children, and even a granddaughter attended this year.Historic preservation.Sanctuary was cooled by summer breezes.After worship, folks gathered under the trees for a potluck dinner.The preacher (beside his wife in picture below) was a retired former pastor of the Caledonia church. He told me he will never forget being at the meeting where the Methodists voted to ordain women!

Food is getting healthier at potlucks.We drove home the longer route, up the Mississippi and along Lake Pepin.In the pleasant hours of the day, it was the best day of the year!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Stillwater Lumberjack 5K Race

Orthopaedic Sports Clinic booth at the finish line.OSI was a sponsorOne of our Favorite Runners; Stillwater lift bridge in the background.
Sprint to the finishGood to see old people like me get off the couch and run. Cell phone in one shorts pocket, digital camera in the other.Go RunnerMy Honey came on his bike with water and encouragement. Biking is still replacing running for him until his plantar fasciitis heals. We stopped by Teddy Bear Park on our way back to the car.Runner HoneyFavorite post-race food: latte by Sweet Pea.With cocoa sprinkles
For more pictures of runners in the Lumberjack Days 5k and 10-mile races, click HERE.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Buy Local ?

Who ? Me ?

Duh? The "buy local" movement took me by surprise. Well, I guess it shouldn't have... with the environmental cost of transporting ... anything.
We buy chicken, buffalo, pork, lamb, and beef from this part of the country. Wild caught salmon and farmed tilapia are not Minnesota products.
Last night we ate Minnesota corn-on-the-cob.
Today we feasted on local, pesticide-free rainbow chard, but the scavenger hunt to find pesticide-free or lower pesticide local vegetables is discouraging.

Barbara Kingsolver relates her family's year of eating local in her book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." They raised a garden, gave up tropical imports. Well, I haven't read her book, yet, but I enjoy her writing style, so I probably will read it.

This week I looked at the co-op for pesticide-free Minnesota fruit and/or berries and scored zero. Berries were from California, apples from New Zealand, etc.

I try to keep up on the latest "dirty dozen" list of fruits and vegetables that are raised with the most pesticides, and choose organic.

Some folks who have cancer choose to eat only organic fruits and vegetables, and only meat and poultry raised without hormones or pesticides. I wonder.

Low fat, hormone-free cottage cheese and summer fruit: my favorite lunch.
Chiquita Banana, many years ago, used to sing a song on the radio about never putting bananas in the refrigerator (no-no-no!), but after bananas are ripe it is fine to refrigerate them. Chilled banana slices are a nice addition to the grapes, blueberries, blackberries, plum and mango.
Best of summer We came out of the Family Means buiding where we go to myeloma information & support group ... and the power in the sky was awesome. We were blessed with three eighths of an inch of rain and a huge wind. It is dry, and the forecast not promising.Storm brewing

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Can't blame Sirius anymore, but we are in the middle of the dog days: average high 83 and average low 63. Record highs could be over 100. Feels like global warming, and the water shortage in some areas here is real.

A lonely daisy cheers an otherwise dried up lawn along one of the streets where we walk.Thirst Daisy along the curb
All is not desert yet, though. In early morning hours, we are out for our walk/run, celebrating the flowers where we find them.Early is  coolerYesterday we walked three hours at the Mall of America. Back-to-school week and toddler Tuesday combined. The mall was rocking.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

More Garden Tour: Day Two

To see a slide show of flowers from both days of the garden tour, by Minnesota Don. Please see the slide show at THIS LINK.

Exquiste garden with 300 bonsai, up to 300 years old; 2 ponds. Kitty welcomeHundreds of bonsai here Bonsai in bloomFish anyone?Oriental inspiration
All recent photo posting is courtesy of Sweet Pea, and some of the photos are hers, too.

Otter Trotter 5K Run

North Mississippi Regional Park ... along the west bank of the Mississippi ... and the east side of I94.Runners are off and runningAsphalt trails wind through the park, providing an out and back course.Runner partnersTrails provide pleasant views of the river.AMTRAK tracks are across the riverFlowers in the park provided a garden tour of their own.Park wildflowers

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Family Means Annual Garden Tour in Stillwater

For Don's slide show of the Garden Tour, see THIS LINK.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Have It Your Way ... At Home

Someone commented recently ... How much people spend on cars and how little on really good food. Actually, junk food is not so cheap.
I do get it about eating out being a good way to be with friends without doing dishes, but with a little practice... and patience ... and everybody pitching in, we did our version of a nice Applebees Weight Watchers tilapia with tropical fruit salsa and fresh broccoli. And we three put it all together after we got home from our monthly Weight Watchers meeting. (monthly because we are all at goal) If we did eat out, the Applebees Weight Watchers tilapia is probably what we would order.
For the salsa: apricots, cucumbers and plums are organic, plus organic lemon juice on the tilapia. The other mango, pineapple and watermelon are conventional.
The tilapia was farmed in the Western Hemisphere.
This plate was arranged and photographed by our Myeloma Hope Sweetie. Tilapia dinner
Organic Valley cottage cheese goes nice with berries and fruit and romaine for an elegant lunch ... shown here half eaten.Berry good (!) lunch

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A turkey vulture and more roadside flowers...

This lovely birdie has been hanging around for a couple of days like waiting for something to die. Isn't this one marvelously ugly bird?This one is the turkey vulture Yes, there is always a camera in the pocket of my running shorts. It slows me down most when I stop to take pictures. I just love it that I can get them ready and post them on this blog myself. It is a whole new concept of HOBBY: photography !This is the roadside flowers

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Flowers Everywhere

In ditches along the road ... around mail boxes: tiger lilies, daisies, cone flowers .... even hollycocks ... strewn as lavishly as parental love.
Walking/running/biking ... the world is a wonderland of blosoms and fragrance.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Eating for Life

Keeping at it: reading nutrition on the internet, reading newspapers and magazines for recipes and ideas, trying new creative innovations. Having fun with this.

Love lasagna, but not too pleased to consume large quantities of thick lasagna noodles (mega-carbs). For me the lighter solution is to replace those big noodles with whole wheat spaghetti (pre-cooked for a few minutes in boiling water). Picture below. Spaghetti lasagna Myeloma Survivor Sweetie is the one who arranges the food on his plate for photo op. Oh glorious complement to my cooking efforts! See a couple a days worth of healthy tempting meal selections: Make It a Masterpiece.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fourth of July

In the living of it, it was the best day of the year!
Runners gathered at the Marine on St. Croix school to run the 4 mile race. The temp and the dew point were in the mid-seventies ... with sunshine and heavy fog. Most of the Saturday morning Stillwater runners show up for this annual kick-off to the 4th of July.
Pictured here are some of the fine running legs. Stillwater runner friendsSweet Runner Guy is tending plantar fasciitis, so he came along on his bike ... cheering all the runners, and especially us.

NO PUDGE Fudge Brownie Mix: Just add yogurt. We like to add some pure vanilla extract, too. Try them; you'll love them!
Sweet Pea brought her brownies and we also brought sliced cucumbers and vadalia onions, in apple cider vinegar, and a dish of cucumbers and onions without vinegar for those who like them plain ... also bowls of watermelon. Our gracious host presided at the grill.
The gathering was quite small this year; conversation was pleasant. Yummy chocolate! Twilight over Stillwater, boats positioned on the St. Croix River to view the fireworks. Waiting in the dusk for fireworks Princess Kitty was guarding the fort while we were out. Princess Kitty We came home a little earlier than usual and saw fireworks all the way home.
When the booming of fireworks continued after we went to bed, Kitty curled up with Sweet Pea to protect her.
It was a precious day.