Friday, June 20, 2008

Yea, Summer!

The gardens grow and burst into color. I need to find a sunny spot to plant the starts of moon flowers that I received Wednesday. Someday, there will simply be a small path in the front yard with no need to mow at all. The back yard belongs to the dogs, except where I have fenced the flowers to protect them a little.

The front yard belongs to me!

The peonies have come and gone, but almost every day, something new opens to add the the view. I don't plant annuals. I like things that either self-seed or are perennials. I really like the native flowers. Purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susan's being my favorites. Science has messed with Mother Nature and produced some new colors of coneflowers. The white ones and the yellow ones have not bloomed yet. I did not invest in the new orange one. Give them a few years and the price will come down or someone will give me seeds.
Hollyhocks and lots of old fashioned day lilies dot the yard, both front and back.

No exotics!

Mother Nature doesn't need exotics to paint a lovely picture. My theory is that a weed is a flower that is growing somewhere that you do not want it. Even the clover that has taken over the back yard and the Creeping Charlie that tries to take over everywhere.

How does my garden grow? Anyway it wants to!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Taking Charge, Again!

I stocked up on fruit at the store tonight and got the makings for another pot of cabbage soup since I finished off a pot of it earlier this evening. It seems that I have spent my life on one diet or another. I've done T.O.P.S. and Weight Watchers. I tried Adkins and South Beach. I almost did the Zone. Time to go back to what works for me - grazing! Nibbling on fresh fruit and veggies all day and eating something decent at night. But I have to get to that point and a pot of cabbage soup helps. Thank goodness I do not have to cook for anyone but me and I do not mind eating the same thing several days in a row.

People who did not know me 10 years ago may raise an eyebrow at the extreme measures, but at that point of time, the scales screamed 210 and I was squeezing into a size 20. My knees hurt and the arthritis in the hips was getting worse. Mirrors were torture! I didn't start losing weight because I tried. The mouth sores from chemotherapy made it impossible to eat anything with more texture that Cream of Tomato soup. When I was able to eat again, the taste buds had changed and sweet stuff made me sick at my stomach, whether it was chocolate or pancake syrup, it didn't matter. That eventually went away.

When I started eating again, I started Adkins. I still don't eat pasta, white bread, peas or corn. I seldom eat potatoes (except sweet potatoes - yum). Adkins worked, but I wanted more fresh fruits and veggies, so I went more toward South Beach. Eventually, I got too thin (same weight as at the end of 5th grade - 128, bottomed out at 125). I added some carbs and fortunately the metabolism had changed. I gained a little and felt much better. But a problem started.

Good metabolism, weight stabilized, oh goody I can have a donut. And if a donut, why not a handful of cookies, and....the rest is history. I decided to try to fool myself and give myself a "ten pound range". Not more than 5 pounds over or under 130, then 135 and finally 140. Found myself breaking the 145 limit on a regular basis and hanging clothes that would no longer fit in the back of the closet. What was next? Either buy new clothes and deal with the consequences of weight or "get a grip". I choose to get a grip.

Summer is a great time - strawberries, cherries, watermelon, cantaloupe added to the usual apples, oranges and bananas. Toss in a tangerine or pineapple and the eating is good. Not to mention the fresh veggies.

And I really like celery with peanut butter.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Never Thought I Would See The Day

Much has been made of coincidences that have happened throughout history. There is now a new one to add to the list. I heard it briefly on the news last night and had to check it out. I have not heard it again, at least not yet, but I sure find it interesting. No, it is beyond interesting, it actually gives me "goosebumps".

I have never hidden the fact that I am left of center politically and a supporter of Barack Obama. But I really think I would find this coincidence interesting even if I were not.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and delivered the "I Have A Dream" speech. The last part of that speech has always given me the hope that someday, we as a nation, would move beyond the issue of race.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

I have a dream today.
MLK, Jr. 8/28/1963

Forty-five years later, on August 28, 2008, Barack Obama will step to the podium in Denver, Colorado and accept the Democratic Party's nomination as their candidate for President of the United States. Is the dream really alive?

Regardless of how the election turns out, history has been made. Even more amazing is the fact that history would have been made regardless of which final Democratic candidate had won! A woman? An African-American male? Wow!