Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trails in Afton State Park

Off to Afton State Park....
Bridge over the creek
Along the bank of the beautiful St. Croix River...
Wisconsin on the other shore
We needed to get a little trail workout, even though we had done a 5K this morning in the neighborhood.
Sweet Pea
Our faithful Bike Guy, nearly recovered from plantar fasciitis, came by to cheer and support....
Thanks, Sweetie
Trails involve elevation!
UP !!
All the way to the top.....
Quiet evening at home with Runner's World magazine... October issue just arrived today. The article on eating for running, "Real Good Eats", is a don't miss article for everybody: Don't miss a morsel.

My favorite was the first course: nuts, seeds, beans, grains.... which contain the nutrients to grow the new plant.
More thoughts about grains: see the post below.

Gluten free grains

So what if a major portion of the population does not digest well the gluten protein in some grains? What if gluten is hard on the digestive system and even affects the ability to burn fat? What if gluten .. or gliadin in gluten ... is an allergen. Lots of information .. and probably mis-information... exists on the internet. Check out "gliadin" on your favorite search engine.
I am experienting with eating "gluten free".

Some other grain choices (gluten free):
amaranth, kasha, millet, quinoa, tef, wild rice... and of course a marvelous selection of rice... brown, basmatic, aromatic, long grain, short grain, arborino, etc.

Quinoa, available in bulk at food co-ops, is especially tasty, I think.
Oats, organic and processed in a wheat-free facility, may be a possibility.
I am reluctant to give up my breakfast (organic) oatmeal. Bob's Red Mill has gluten free rolled oats, which most people can tolerate.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Full Moon

(You may click to enlarge)
Picture by Sweet Pea

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gateway Trail One Week Later

Several flocks of wild turkeys waddled across the road in front of our car on the way to the Trail. We stopped, of course. This is a small portion of the parade of turkey families.
Gobble, gobble Why did the turkeys cross the road??On the other side
What a difference a week makes! When we did 20 miles on Gateway Trail last Sunday, the temp was in the low 60's with light mist, developing into heavier mist. It was our kind of day. Our speed was as good on miles 18-20 as any.

The 8 2/3 miles we did today was with a temp of 82 degrees, a dew point of 61, and a wind of 17 mph. The wind, the best part of that, provided some relief. However, I was pouring sweat and even staggered with a bit of dizziness.
I didn't plan well for the heat, starting out with 8 ounces of water, which we each had. Don, on a bicycle, brought our partially frozen bottles of Gatorade All Stars drink, from our car, saving the day... and us!!

PS: Oh sad to say, Bruce Brothers' running column.. and the Great Outdoors section of the St. Paul Pioneer Press is being discontinued. Certainly the only sports news I read in the paper.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Run with Stillwater Runners

We two did 2.9 miles in the neighborhood of the tennis courts at 7am on a lovely late-August morning, uneventfully and without injury for the beginning of another best day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Good news for trees: raining raining
It has been too dry here for many weeks.

Sweet Pea and I got out in the neighborhood for a two mile out and back before the rain this morning.

Chicken breast pot roast with sweet potatoes, corn, onions and black beans for supper.

And the 9:00 repeat on ABC is "Boston Legal."

Flowers for your day from our 5K yesterday.
For You

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

5K in the Neighborhood

After recent rain flowers along our 5K neighborhood route perked up.
A rabbit sat motionless, hoping not to be observed?
Sweet Pea caught sight of a heron, fishing for lunch in a pond along the way.
Great gray
New folks in the neighborhood... and a friendly kitty we had not seen before.

The pictures are the best of what we saw. Another new distant neighbor allowed her two dogs to bound out into the road toward us, barking. Fortunately the dogs were friendly... but not controlled.

Humidity makes running tough for us. Our times were not great, and I'm not even sure what we did. But we were out there, putting in miles. And as you see, I did stop for pictures today! Fun.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pictures on this blog

All pictures on these posts can be elarged by clicking on them.
An additional title for each can be discovered by hovering over the picture.
Thanks for viewing!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Twenty miles on Gateway Trail

First half in alternating light mist/heavy mist... low 60's ... our kind of running temperature... just a bit of gusty breeze now and then. We were soaked to the skin, but then the mist quit.. and we dried out... until just before we got back to the car. We closed the doors on the car and the rain started... for a dramatic finish of a lovely long run. Sweet Pea and I both have our limitations, so we were out there (including porta potty stops, water stops, cookie stops) 5 1/2 hours. Wet trail Oceans of golden rod were not a problem, dampened by the rain. There are many blue bird houses along the trail.
Our favorite runner, biking until his foot heals, came by for a quick chat.Ah, to be running again We got encouraged along the way. Favorite support PS: some of our fastest miles were the last 3 .. after Don phoned us and told us the radar indicated that the rain was just about upon us!
More than an inch of rain here this weekend.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

End of a Long Week

Lake Wobegon Arborists trimmed damaged oaks.A higher job
Some of the piles and piles of branches and logs were picked up by village workers...after being sawed up by Don and hauled and stacked by all of us. Many logs & branches Sweet Pea's picture of our reclaimed back yard.Rediscovered grass How magnificent oaks are! Sure do like them better alive and standing up.Count the branches! Kitty kept watch from the safety of the house.Good Kitty
Saturday note: We joined the Stillwater Runners this morning. Good to be at it again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back to Running, Plus Day 6 of yard clean-up

Sweet Pea took this picture... maybe on Day 4.
Clearing Storm Damage
For several days our village workers have been picking up debris and chipping branches.
glorious help
TODAY we all had enough energy and time to get out in the neighborhood for a run!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Power Out 65 hours: cooking on the deck

Without air conditioning in the house, cooking on the deck. Our little generator powers some outlets but not the stove or the air conditioning.
Vegetables & roast
Eating out!
Still a novelty
That's me, making picture record of the new power pole being installed, and Sweet Pea behind the camera photographing me... often catching the pictures we prize.
New power pole
For the details of the marvelous power restoration yesterday, check out Don's story at Make It a Masterpiece.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Saturday morning all we could see through the patio door was leaves. We had no idea what we were looking at. The picture below has some reflection in it, but it is the best shot we have of the branches against the windows.

What's behind the green door?
Beginning to clear the deck. Remembering the deck railing that used to be at the end... totally gone.
beginning to clear

Driveway blocked by oak.

No passage

Fence on the ground under the oak.
Fence no more
We aren't even sure where this is. Huge clean-up ahead.
Branches everywhere
Don and the great local tree guy consulting. Branches on the ground everywhere.
Good conversation
The wonderful injured oak that Tree Guy will try to save.
Precious tree
Wood pile: past and future! New fallen trees across the stacked logs.
Shadows of piles and piles to be sawed and stacked

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Storm Recovery Day

Weather alert radio woke us around 3am: Thunder, lightning and wind.
No damage to the house, no injury to us. We are blessed.
Much damage to oak trees, branches blown up against the living room patio door. So sad to see the death of good mature trees.Dead
What a mess
Sweet Runner Honey was chain sawing all day in high 80's temps with high humidity. He drank a lot of water.Amazing energy
Power was restored to neighbors by noon, but our power is out because of the line to our house. With thousands without power, we figure it will be days for us without power.

We have had internet off and on all day. The first thing that came through today was that nice comment on my last post, from half way around the world. Sweet.

Our generator powers the minimun necessities around the house. Cooking breakfast and lunch was an impovisation. Running Partner and I took a chain saw chain in for sharpening and bought another new chain. We did some branch pick-up in the yard. Supper out at the neighborhood restaurant. Tomorrow I will try cooking out on the deck to avoid heating up the house. It will be like camping out! This is the way the deck looked when we got up this morning. Railings are broken, but the deck is now cleared for cooking!Branches against the glass
There is a lovely children's Caldicott Award book called "A Tree Is Nice". One of my favorite parts is, "Trees fill up the sky." We are not going to have as much sky filled up with trees for a while.
Our new view
Can't tell if I'm more wiped out from the humidity/heat ... or the grief over dead trees. Not having power isn't my favorite thing either.

But oh my goodness, For certain, it is the best day of the year when nobody got injured and the house is intact in spite of a windy storm.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sweet Potato Salad

Inquiring minds want to know: what was in the sweet potato salad ?

So what is in it?
Here is the salad, nestled amid sister-in-law's lettuce salad and Honey's sliced fresh mango.Salads

Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet potatoes, steamed enough to peel easily;
then cubed, and steamed just a few more minutes.
Cubes should be cooked but not mushy.

Frozen baby green peas, in colander, thaw with quick cool water rinse.
Cubed cucumber, seeded if seeds are big
Celery, finely sliced
Red onion, finely sliced
Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Dill weed

Plain organic yogurt, stained to make yogurt cheese
1 organic lemon, juice and grated peel

Small cubes of any sharp white cheese

Combine it all and stir gently.
Serve in a pretty bowl.
(Do not store in lead crystal.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Blessings of fruit season

Organic strawberries and conventional blackberries, papaya and mango ... piled in a bowl with a little organic yogurt.
For lovely artistic arrangements you might want to check out:
According to a report in September, 2007, Prevention Magazine, food scientists at the University of California, Davis, recently found that kiwifruit grown without pesticides end up with higher levels of heart-healthy polyphenols and vitamin C than conventionally grown fruits. Nutrition to ponder.

Continuing with the little project of listing "5 things" ...
5 things I don't leave home without:

1. Digital camera
2. Cell phone
3. Little pack.. driver's license, credit card, health ins. card, $10 bill
4. Keys ... house, car, and emergency whistle
5. Pen & small Weight Watchers 1-week diary (also good for jotting down a good recipe from a waiting room magazine)

Traveling lighter these days than when I was working. Sometimes I even stuff all 5 things in my shorts pockets.
"Don't leave home without it" ... what is on your list?

Keeping on walking and running ... We two did a hot humid 4K in the neighborhood this morning. (Trees need rain so terribly.) In the afternoon we walked another 1:45 at the Mall of America.
This evening, although it is dry and pleasant, we are done for the day.
Every day is the best day of the year and we celebrate the blessings.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Gateway Trail

A wonderful horse, bicycle, roller blades, runner and walker bridge enables a safe crossing of Highway 96 for those on Gateway Trail.

In May we parked there first thing in the morning, only to discover someone had set fire to the porta potty (in a wooden enclosure).

I wondered about the families of those who set the fire in the night. Did they know?
Only a couple of timbers remained ... along with the last wisp of smoke rising in the early morning sun.
sad remains
This morning when we arrived we were delighted to discover a new and welcome facility! New!
Already the wild flowers proclaim the passing of the season with their bright fall colors.
fall flowers on the trailBut summer is not over yet: heat and humidity wore us out in eight and a half miles and we drank our partially frozen Gatorade in the car on the way home.

Super cross-trainer Honey biked 20 miles and reached home ahead of us.

Monday, August 6, 2007

What is it with "5 things" ?

Well, not a partridge in a pear tree, but a whole lot more than five egrets ... I counted ten as I stood there, in a Minnesota tree just last week !egrets

Searching the internet... all I can find is more and more lists ... and books of lists ... of "5 things". But where does the magic of 5 come from?
There were more than 5 apostles, more than 5 candles in the Menora, more than 5 commandments (no matter how you prefer to number them), 4 gospels, 7 days in a week, should I go on?

What is with 5 ? Where did it start ?

A current favorite is to name 5 things in your refrigerator. Of course if I had only 5 things in my refrigerator, I could get by on a dorm room size unit.
But OK, here are 5 things I didn't used to have in my refrigerator that I enjoy now!

1. Ripe fruit and berries, in season, even bananas and avacadoes, are delicious chilled.

2. Fresh rosemary, fresh basil, fresh flatleaf parsley, fresh thyme (have always thought dried, ground thyme was unpleasant). Fresh herbs ... so interesting that I may try to raise them by the livingroom window.

3. Fresh organic romaine, rainbow chard and broccoli (beginning to think organic may have more precious nutrients ... unless you can raise your own) Sweet potatoes ... should not be refrigerated, but they are refrigerated in the stores here, and they spoil if not refrigerated when I get them home.

4. Using parmesan, asiago, cheddar (not dyed), and blue cheese, instead of milder cheese ... because less is enough. Organic ricotta helps make alfredo-type sauces with less fat .

5. Small quantity of many kinds of nuts: almonds, brazils, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds.

Thanks, Cat!

Well, guess that's more than 5. I am a possibilites person.

Dear Reader, What are your 5 things in your refrigerator?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Falling Down, My Fair Lady

Below: the Mississippi River at North Mississippi Regional Park ... along 35W ... just north of downtown Minneapolis.Mississippi River
Disaster boggles the mind. All the superlative descriptive words apply.

At 6:05 Wednesday afternoon we were watching the local news. We were not crossing the Mississippi on the I 35W bridge... as we may have been if we had been going to the Twins baseball game. As we viewed the first coverage of smashed cars and concrete slabs that used to be a bridge that we have crossed countless times since 1967, I cried for those who were there. I suppose I cried for us all.

Always, the loss of life tops the list of loss.

To count the other kinds of loss: today is only Day One of that process. Oh dear, oh dear.

And as always, there will be good stories too; always in the ashes, God is there.