Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Natural Intentions

It was a dark and stormy night....

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon a few weeks back and I was cleaning like a madwoman, having neglected my household chores for the past week.  From mail that needed sorting to dusting and clearing the living room and more, I had enough to keep me painfully inside for the day.  When I settled into the kitchen to prepare a few meals for the week I set up my laptop as usual.  I looked for something interesting to listen to on the internet while I chopped, simmered, and packaged, and that day it turned out to be a very interesting podcast.

The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Kasper is an all-time favorite of mine.  I used to listen to her on the radio when I lived up north, the local station played it when I was driving to work (early afternoon, for second shift.)  I'm so glad that this internet thing has given her a broader audience so that now I can listen to any episode, whenever I want!  So on that Sunday, I hit a few clicks and listened.

A few minutes into this episode she interviewed Jo Robinson, author of the new book Eating on the Wild Side.  Ms Robinson has examined hundreds (or thousands?) of studies on the properties of foods, and presented the findings from the studies in this book.  She explains how to select... let's say, apples... based on which varieties contain the most nutrients.  As we moved away from being hunter-gatherers and turned to farming, we selected more palatable varieties and left the "natural" selections.  Of the most common apples now available, she writes that the Granny Smith is one of the most desirable based on nutrition.  And if choosing a red apple, pick the one with the most color.  It was on the outer or top branches of the tree and produced the most phytonutrients.

I couldn't possibly do justice trying to explain the detailed information she gives in this project, so please take a listen to any (or all) of the following interviews as she explains what you will find in her book.  From how to choose and store lettuce, how to get the most benefits from garlic, I have learned so much from her!  (I'm currently trying to find purple carrots!  Read why in her book...)

The Splendid table


HuffPost Live

And here is her website: EatWild

I've changed my choices when shopping, looking for the best I can possibly do for myself.  I've also changed my way of thinking.  Now that expression of how Nature always provided exactly what we need to feed our bodies makes more sense.  If I am not meant to be a hunter-gatherer, at least I can choose to make the best choices.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

THE dress!

My trip north coincided with one of the local fairs so this particular town was quite busy.  Traffic was heavier than usual but I knew which side street would circle 'round the congestion and take me exactly where I wanted to go, a secondhand shop.  As I walked in and checked the sign to see which color tickets were discounted, I was surprised to see that everything was half-price that day.  My first stop was the sewing patterns but I couldn't find a single one that I wanted.  So I wandered through the store until this lovely gown caught my eye!


A scattering of tiny beads!

It is very vintage...metal zipper, stiff horsehair-type crinoline, and all.  These photos do not show the true champagne gorgeous!  And it's in excellent condition.  I would never fit into this sweet dress but it will be listed in my etsy shop soon.  Here's hoping I take better photos so someone sees the real beauty that it is!

Treasures like this don't turn up very often, but they do make the search exciting :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Many miles

There are two sport shops on opposite corners in this one particular location in northern VT.  When I lived there, I would support both of them.  Snowshoes at one, bike repairs at the other.  Each had merits and I was glad to do business with them.  So on my last trip north I stopped in each one, asking questions about bikes.  My Schwinn just wasn't living up to the expectations that I had for it and I needed something a bit more aggressive.  (There are days I dream about my old Italian racer.....sigh!)

The bike rack was already on my car so that I could bring home a new ride.  I talked with an associate at the first store and had one bike in mind before walking across the street to do comparison shopping at the second store, where I eventually made my purchase.  The bikes were similar in features and so on, but at the second store it was the manager who worked with me.  I have always felt that the service at this location was a few standards higher, and it hasn't changed in the years since I moved away!  Options were explored and I am pleased with my purchase.  Even more, they service the bike 30 days after purchase to check everything again (at no charge).  And I have a lifetime discount of anything in the store...except another bike, of course ;)

So in the past two weeks I've put on many, many miles.  There's a lovely loop down near the shore that enjoy and I'm heading there shortly.

Next chance I get here on Blogger, I will tell you about the bag of 1960s sewing patterns ;)


Back to square one

Posting today was a real "hit or miss".  I wasn't able to open a new post last night or earlier this morning.  The last few years I have encountered issues with Blogger; such as not being able to post photos or losing my reading pane of the blogs I follow, but these cleared up within a few days or with a quick fix.  This problem won’t be so easy.  Blogger no longer supports IE8 stating that it is too “buggy”, and they don’t recommend upgrading to IE9 since that’s “buggy”, too.  (quoted from the Blogger Help Forum)  Their suggestion is that I switch to Chrome or Firefox.  My hesitation to follow this advice is that some folks on the Help Forum have encountered the same problem AFTER switching to Chrome, which does not instill confidence in that solution.  I’m considering switching to WordPress.  I follow some bloggers who have done so over the past few years and I will explore this option over the next week or two.  In the meantime I’m going to type up posts in a Word document so I will be able to post it from another location.  One way or another, I'll have this sorted out soon :)

I've got to hem some new pants this morning, then I'm off riding.  The weather is a bit cooler now in new England and it will be a lovely day for a spin!

Wishing you a Wonderful Sunday!

quick update: I'm scheduling a few posts now while I've got a good Blogger connection!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I've been wanting to tell you......

....about my trip north a few weeks ago.

....about my new bike!!!

....about the book that has changed (altered?) my thoughts about food and what I'm eating.

....and so much more......

but Blogger blocked me from posting, seeing my old posts, stats, etc. For at least a week I've been on the help forum and tried the "fixes" they suggested.  I took a chance just now and the stars must have been aligned :)

It looks like it's working again so I'll post tonight.  Going for a ride down by the shore now.

Best wishes!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Burdock Root

I'm challenging myself to try new things (and some new old things.)  So while in northern VT last weekend, I was intrigued by a local, natural foods store that was selling burdock root.  I purchased two small roots to bring home (I always bring a small cooler and ice packs.)  Today was perfect for oven roasting them to go with my lunch.

They're covered with a "dirty" brownish skin.  When peeled, they are a pure white but very quickly they will start to discolor (like a potato.)  This photo shows them coated in olive oil.  Below are the peelings.
Out of the oven, slightly roasted.  They are very fibrous....much more than a parsnip.  I couldn't compare the taste to anything....they're very mildly earthy....not unpleasant.  They were a terrific companion for the beet greens and small piece of beef that was my lunch.

Would I have them again?  Yes.  I haven't seen them for sale around here, but I'm sure I can keep my eye out for some plants in my travels ;)

I hope you are enjoying a pleasant late summer Sunday.  Have fun, and maybe try something new!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sign & Smile

August Break, days 30 and 31

I found these while up north this week....

Hair styling products named "SIGN" 
...and this sign made me Smile:

This mannequin outside the Diving Center holds a sign that reads: "SCUBA - For those who'd rather sink than swim!"
I love that one :)
Thank you, Susannah Conway, for hosting this fun August Break!  I'm already looking forward to next year :)

The August Break 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013


It's always exciting to find another memoir written by a woman when I browse the books at secondhand stores.  I've been inspired and sometimes amazed by their stories.  I have read about hardships, struggles, introspection, and accomplishments that I couldn't imagine having to undertake.  Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is one of these.  I found it just a few weeks ago and read it over the past few days.  It more than filled the expectations that I had after reading the intro on the dust cover.

Cheryl Strayed gives us enough personal history to understand why she decides to embark on the months long hike from the Mojave Desert to Washington State, having no experience as a hiker.  And while I would never choose such an undertaking, I can understand why it was important to her.  We walk with her as she breaks in her boots and struggles under the weight of all she carries.  Her writing style is smooth and easy to follow, and it kept me right on pace with her (mentally and emotionally) on the trail.

There are many reasons why she should have never undertaken the hike (inexperience, lack of planning, poor supplies), but her courage and determination made up for them.

I keep very few books and Wild will be one of them.  Ask for it at your library if you enjoy non fiction.  They may choose to get a copy for their stacks, in which case a lot more folks will be able to read it!  My copy is already on loan to a friend.  I hope she will be as impressed as I am.

Wishing you a day filled with great adventures!

(August Break, day 29: Your fave thing.  Women's memoirs hold a very high place on my list of favorites!)

The August Break 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


August Break, day 28

Deep breaths....


Tomatoes from my neighbor and basil from my deck

Bringing back memories of my gardens........

The August Break 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Yes (is a ) Number

August Break, days 26 and 27

Yes!  Back to my old routine of going to the gym early.  That's the number, and I'm out the door  :)

The August Break 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Morning

August Break, day 25

Sunday morning, around the corner from Grand Central Station, NYC


Street vendors as far as the eye can see.  Booths with wonderful selections of spices, beautiful leather totes, tempting food, and so much more!  The road is closed on Sundays this summer for a beautiful experience.

The August Break 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013


August Break, day 24

Before dawn, listening to the crickets and birds

The August Break 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013


August Break, day 23

The timing was right while my brother was visiting from out of state, and we were able to go to the annual "Feast" of the patron saint of the church where we were raised.  It was a beautiful late summer's evening, perfect for festivities.  Within an hour of opening, the rides, games, food booths, and beer tent were all crowded.  We strolled and talked and ate and listened to the music.  We even bought raffle tickets on all sorts of goodies.  It was nice to be in the old neighborhood with my brother.

We took a few moments to step inside the church where we were both baptized, received communion, and were confirmed.  It looked so much smaller than I remembered.  I looked at the pew where we sat every Sunday morning, many years ago and wondered who sits there now.  There had been some changes to the inside of the church, minor things that made it seem different than the one I knew in my youth.  But outside we found something familiar.

It is tradition that the statue of the patron saint is carried through the streets by members of the parish, along with a small band and whoever wants to follow (including children on bicycles).  The statue is festooned with ribbons before the procession.  When people here the music approaching, they come out of their homes to pin dollar bills to the ribbons.  That night, the statue was already set on the platform, ready to be carried through the neighborhood the next day.  It was nice to see that some of the old customs haven't changed!

You can visit other participants of the August Break at Susannah Conway's blog, here.

The August Break 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013


August Break, day 22

Thundershowers this morning, clearing this evening.  Here's how it looked at midday.....

Some of us keep a lawn chair in our vehicles so we can sit outside at lunch, enjoying the sun, reading, chatting.....  this is a hill at the edge of the parking lot where we sit.  Can you see all the tracks that the deer have made in the woodchips?

The August Break 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Something old

August Break, day 21

Looking through old photographs recently, I stumbled on one of the dress I made for my senior prom.  I remembered the soft, float-y material.  And having my hair "done" at the hairdressers.....all that hairspray!  Oh, how styles have changed....  Could it have possibly been that many years ago?

Interestingly enough, shortly after I saw the photo I happened to find the pattern from that dress on etsy.  It's a few sizes larger, but then again, so am I :)
The version shown in blue is the style I stitched, making it floor length.
It has a double butterfly sleeve.

I'm always amazed when I see a pattern I recognize online, and I've purchased a few of the ones that I had made in the past.  It's an inexpensive indulgence and it doesn't take as much space as collecting vintage cars I'd owned :)

....although it would be fun to drive my old Valiant again....

Stop by The August Break hosted at Susannah Conway's blog for more postings of "Something old"  :)

The August Break 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


August Break, Day 20

It's my favorite drink this summer!  Each morning I fill this jar with water, lemon slices and fresh peppermint (from my deck) before leaving for work.  It's gone by noon and I refill for the afternoon.  When your nose is glued to the computer screen at work, it's heavenly to have something so refreshing to drink!  And the mint reminds me of being in a garden :)

The August Break 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013


August Break, day 18
Grandbabies are for holding
The August Break 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Looking down

August Break, day 17

(Actually, Looking down is for day 18 but I have chosen to flip-flop them since tomorrow I will have better photos for "touch".)

Growing Peppermint in containers for my iced tea and lemon water :)

Basil planted underneath the tomato

Underneath it all.....the deck

Have a wonderful evening!

The August Break 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013


August Break, day 16



not from any garden.....
but they are "blooming"  :)
The August Break 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013


August Break, day 15

History and current topics

Memoirs (and old diaries)

My mother's cookbook


A new world......

Books have always been important to me.  From reading Leaves of Grass and Cry the Beloved Country in high school to preparedness works today, I enjoy the written word.  I love walking through a bookstore and I'm always drawn to the stacks of used books at rummage sales :)

The August Break 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August Break, 2013

I stumbled onto Susannah Conway's blog and website the other day as I roamed blogger sidebars and was excited to see the group she has gathered for her "August Break", where she listed a topic (theme) for each day of the month of August.  Participants can choose to post a single photo (or more), or write about the subject.  It is planned as a "break" from regular posting.  A month-long "vacation" of sorts.
Here it is (the middle of August already!) and I will be participating for the rest of the month.  Better late than never :)

Please stop by her site to see what everyone is posting for the daily themes!  There are 700 participants!!!

The August Break 2013