I Grew a Tomato!

Squee!!! I can’t believe how well my vegetable garden is growing! Look how big the bush bean plants are (that I grew from SEEDS!!) and how tall my little tomato plants are. I might have to get a ladder to pick some of them!

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And lookie what I discovered the other day:

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My very first tomatoes! I feel like a new mom.

Playing around with my new camera:

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A little volunteer–I think its a morning glory from a previous year’s plant! Isn’t the color amazing?

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Wave petunias are very happy. the little plants in the background are my basil plants THAT I GREW FROM SEED! (Yes, I feel the need to yell that I actually grew stuff from seeds!)

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Noah is always on the hunt for lizards. And there seem to be a lot of them this year. Maybe they like the stones?

Oh, did I tell you I got a new camera? I wasn’t happy with the quality of the pictures I was getting with my little camera, so I got one a step up (I hope.) So far I’m not that impressed with the quality of the pictures. But I haven’t read the instruction manual yet…

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Nikon Coolpix L820, plum colored (the color is VERY important.)

Morning Walk

Yay!  First day of vacation.  Its been lovely.  Started out with a wonderful banana nut protein pancake and some quality quiet time.  Then got out for a nice walk with Noah.  I got a very nice email from Marianne Burr (the quilt artist I like so much) encouraging me to take lots of pictures in Africa, especially close-ups.  So I took my camera along this morning to see if I could find stuff to photograph close-up.  All the rain we’ve had gave me a chance to get some interesting images.

A pine seedling:

Water droplets on weeds:
Close-up–looks like fairy magic or something, doesn’t it?
I like stumps, especially when they are covered with moss.
Close-up:

Christmas stick:
Action dog:
TWENTY-SEVEN SHOTS later these were the best pictures I could come up with…
After the walk, I hurried around and got a few things done, got cleaned up, and went to the gym on the way to meet a good friend for lunch.  We went to a place that has really good, homemade, fresh food.  EX-PEN-SIVE.  Very nice, but we decided that once a year was often enough to visit there.
Hey, guess what?  I’m starting to get excited about my trip!  I got a few more essentials today.  And tomorrow I’m gonna drag the old suitcase in and start packing.  That will make it seem more real to me.
I’m falling asleep in my chair, so I’m gonna click ‘publish’ and probably be back with another post tomorrow!

A Fascinating Topic (IMHO*)

Alrighty now.  What shall we talk about?  Hmmm…  What say we talk about food and exercise?  Hey, wait a minute.  Don’t leave!  I’ll try to talk about a few other things.  Oh, here’s some pictures from this morning’s walk.

The view from the top of my hill to the top of another hill:

See that tiny little gray blob between two trees over on that hill?  I know.  I can’t see it either.  But look:

Kinda scary that I can do that with my little ol’ point and shoot, huh?  I just hope no one’s out there tonight with a telescopic night lens pointed through my big window with me sitting here in my nightie and all.

Oh, and Look!!! The Return of the Stick! I was pretty excited when Noah found this little stick in the middle of the road and picked it up.  I thought maybe that was just a stage he was going through.

Alright.  Now that I’ve got you hooked, I’m gonna talk about my favorite topic.  FOOD.  This morning on Georgie’s blog, she had a great entry talking about good fats in the diet, and why a lot of her recipes are low fat.  Very good post.  Check it out.  Georgie just has a lot of good practical knowledge, and also some darn good recipes.  While I was over there, I noticed a little blurb about using spinach in smoothies, and the recipe looked so good I wanted to try it.  Sounded so refreshing, and relatively low cal.  Only thing was, I didn’t have spinach.  But what I made was fantastic anyways.

Here’s what I made:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 1/2 cup whey (when I strain my yogurt to make greek yogurt I keep the liquid ‘whey’ and use it in various and sundry recipes.)  You can use whatever liquid you want.
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • a little cinnamon
  • 3 ice cubes

Oh, it was delicious and refreshing!

I am really starting  to get into the treadmill thing at the gym.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that I can watch TV.  (For those of you new to my blog, I haven’t had a TV for over a year, by my own choice.) Today Dr. Oz had an interesting show again.  Had a segment on foods that help you sleep.  According to him, Pubsgal and I should never be awake, what with all the walnuts we consume.  Then he had a segment on three new foods to try:  pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts (not gonna happen here,) amaranth instead of brown rice, and trout instead of salmon.  I used to love trout, so I will try that and the amaranth.  Actually I have some pumpkin seeds and I like them.  Just not gonna give up the walnuts yet.

So, anyway, because I was enjoying the show, and also starting to enjoy the treadmill, I went 35 minutes instead of the 20 I was planning for.  And I did some running intervals in  there too.  I know that’s not much compared to what some of you do.  But when I first tried it, I thought I wouldn’t last 5 minutes.  Its actually a good idea to change up your exercise occasionally, so I am very glad that I tried this.  And hey, its the last season of Oprah…

I picked up a new creation of Vicky’s that I had been interested in trying:  zucchini quinoa bread (with dark chocolate chips.)  Dang, that girl knows how to cook.  The quinoa was whole, as far as I could tell, and added a little crunch to the bread.  I can see I will be doing more food experiments soon.

I had the zucchini bread over at the Buck’s with a ‘tall’ coffee, and had a very nice quiet time.  I needed to work on organizing my thoughts regarding leading a spiritual formation group.  Success, finally.  Its not all Mr. You Know Who’s fault that I can’t be quiet at home.  I am distracted by a myriad of things in my house–computer, quilting, housework, etc.  Its nice to go to Starbuck’s with my book bag and sit quietly with all the computer notebooks.

I  had essentially the same dinner last night as I had tonight.  Love having leftovers for an easy fix.  I did roast these little brussel sprouts, which were quite excellent.  I read somewhere that it was brussel sprout season.  These really were very fresh and yummy.  The tomato was just unbelievable.  It was big enough for 3 servings!  Just had it with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil and basil.  Last night had the mozarella, tonight plain .  The fish is red snapper, pan’fried’ using PAM, and then squirted with a whole lemon .

I had half an apple in the fridge, so I fixed a little bowl of this Stuff for my dessert later.   Finally heading to work tomorrow.  Then off for the weekend.  I know.  My life is very tough.

Sleeping Noah.   Just the way I like him in the evening.

Sleeping Monkey.  Just the way he always is in the evening.

Its hard to catch Sophie sleeping.  But this is her on the bed, just the way SHE always likes it in the evening.

I’m off to watch NEW episodes of The Dog Whisperer!

(*IMHO = in my humble opinion.)

Signs of Spring, and Blogger Run Day

Friday I set out with my camera and Noah to take pictures of ‘signs of spring’ to share with you guys.  There has been so much rain around here that it reminds me of Oregon.  This first picture is on the main road that we always walk on.  I love the moss on the rail fence.

All the rest of the pictures are of the little stream that runs right behind the mailboxes at the end of my road.  It’s a mile and a half from my house to the mail boxes, so when I talk about taking a three mile walk/run, this is where I’m headed.  So a funny/tragic think happened on this walk.  I was daydreaming about getting a new camera.  And I even thought that I might email Lori to see if she thought my pictures weren’t as sharp as they used to be (or was it my eye sight that was getting worse?  Or did I just want an excuse to get a new camera?)

Now somewhere on this walk, I dropped the camera.  But it was a gentle drop, not more than a foot and a half from the ground, and I think I dropped it on dirt, not concrete.  And it took pictures after that.  But I think you might notice that these pictures are a little ‘off.’  Like the green is too green, or like they’ve been photo-shopped by someone who didn’t really know what they were doing.


Anyway, after taking the pictures at the mail boxes, I put the camera in my pocket and jogged back toward the waterfall/stream that I really love and have shared with you before.  It is really full right now, and I wanted to get some pictures of it.  When I got there and took the camera out of my pocket, the lens was stuck in the out position, but when I clicked to take a picture, it said ‘lens error.’  And with that, my camera was dead.  So my ‘signs of spring’ photo essay is missing a lot.  I was going to take some pictures of some of the flowering bulbs, and some of the gorgeous hills and countryside around here.

I have been investigating cameras, and asking everyone’s opinions.  I think I’ve narrowed it down to the Nikon Coolpix or the Canon Sureshot.  As you can see, its all about the color of the camera with me…I’m trying not to let that be my deciding factor.  But even within these two cameras there a ton of options.  Any opinions, anyone?

Okay.  Today my day got a little discombobulated, but after church, and after working out at the gym, I set out to time myself on my Ten Minute Mile Challenge.  I know it is only a mile, and Shelley was doing a 5K (I think) and Miz a Half-Marathon(!)  but for me this is a challenge and a victory.  I ran the whole way, and thought about Shelley and Miz when  I wanted to stop and walk.  And my time?  Ten minutes and 35 seconds!  I was really excited.  That is 25 seconds less than my previous time of 11 minutes, on January 24 (oops.)  It would have been nice to report that I made it under 10 minutes.  But actually this way I still have a challenge to keep working towards!