Three Vegetables

Three vegetables with every dinner is our family goal and potatoes don’t count.  That is a pretty ambitious goal in the best of situations.   I can give you a host of reasons why it is hard to achieve in our house:

  1. One of cooks in the house, my husband,  was raise with minimal to no vegetables.  They aren’t on his radar.  His take on vegetables when I married him: ” I eat corn because I like it and beans because they are good for me.”
  2. We grocery shop only once every 7-10 days
  3. I live in a spot in Montana where it semi-arid, and the growing season runs from late June to sometime in September.  Frost is common in July and August.
  4. Our farmer’s markets reflect the problems stated in number 3.
  5. Our grocery stores, though national chains, reflect a 60’s produce selection.  If you don’t shop on a day the truck comes in the produce is just so-so.
  6. Frozen veggies require more thought.   It easiest to pull them out of the bag and throw them in the steamer.    Steaming and serving gets pretty boring pretty fast.
  7. Dollar for dollar on a per serving basis fresh is more expensive.

Those of you following my blog, know that I recently started participating in Bountiful Baskets.  It is a traveling delivery co-op system.   It allows us to purchase a basket of fresh veggies and fruits and a reasonable price.   The downside is that you don’t know what you will get in your basket until you pick it up.    If you are willing to go outside your normal comfort zone it is a great way to get those three veggies in you dinner menu.   My husband is even getting into this.    Friday  he made sandwiches for lunch  and proudly announced he had included 3 veggies.  It is a sign that this goal of ours is finally becoming a normal reality for us, not just me but both of us.

Changes happen slowly, but with persistence change can become your reality.

Out of My Element

I am a veracious read, and with the purchase of my Kindle the number of books I read has exploded exponentially.    I have by tradition been a suspense book reader, with some mindless escape romances, historical fiction, a biography thrown in regularly and a few unexpected recommendations that I pick up.   At least once a year I read something science fiction, because it is my husband’s favorite genre, and though for the life of me I can’t find a redeeming quality in it except that my husband loves it.

Before Kindle, I spent hours scrounging for books at the thrift stores, libraries, rummage sales, book stores in any town I visit and online.   I was the keeper of piles of books beside my nightstand  for my reading pleasure.   I did not realize it, but I bought these books by their dust jackets and back covers.    If it wasn’t my kind of book, back on the shelf it went.   I had to make a conscious effort to read something out of the norm.   I had to be willing to take a risk on a book based on something a publicist had written to sell the book to the market audience.   If I was going to venture outside of my norm, then they were probably not writing to entice me to buy the book.

This change in my reading habits is due to owning a Kindle and  in part to Amazon’s “Top 100 Free” list that I visit regularly.  It is there that I grab books off the top 100 list that have a four or five-star rating.   I don’t read the reviews or what the book is about for the most part.    I also look at the top free  titles  in some of my favorite genres as well.    I cruise the best sellers that are discounted and the 100 for $3.99 or less.   Now these choices that require my hard-earned cash, and  I am more careful about my selections.  I select those things that interest me  and sound like a good read.   Money spent should be for a book you expect to finish.   One caveat to all this is that we have a Prime Membership.   Living in a rural area with limited services, we like the benefits of Prime, one of which is the ability to borrow one book a month free.  If you catch it just right , and we have, you can  pick up some really good in-demand at the library books using the Prime option.

With my Kindle, it has not only resulted in an explosion on my the numbers of books I read, but also the kinds of books.   Without the filter I had employed before, I end up with books of all sorts.   I will admit that if I start a book and that first chapter is poorly written, or does not suck me in, I rate it one star and delete it.  I would give a no star rating if possible, but Amazon has said one star is as bad as it gets.   On the other hand I have read some books that the whole time I am reading it I say “I can’t believe I am really reading this.”   I just finished a book about a mob family, gruesome, nasty book.  Lots of characters I really didn’t like but was fascinated by their character flaws and relationships.   It was not a five star book, but the author wrote that first chapter so well, I wanted to know more.   I could not deleted it after one chapter, in spite of the fact I did not like the subject matter.   I kept thinking I will skip forward to see how this is resolved, but found myself reading each page for the details and nuances of what was going on.   This is not the only book I have read out my element since becoming a Kindle owner but it was by far the one I am still most amazed I read from cover to cover.

So in the past I could clearly say I read certain genres.   Now I think that I have a preference for certain genres, but am finding that a well written book will draw me no matter the type…wait I still find that science fiction a chore to get one book read a year.   I am beginning to think I don’t have the right imagination to properly appreciate them.  All that aside I am finding myself reading much more out of me element and enjoying it.



You Can Stop Calling Me!

Last weekend I sat down with my absentee ballot and figured out exactly who I was going to vote for and what ballot initiatives I was going to support.   It was nice as I was the only one  at home and I was able to look at the booklets, website, voting records and everything I needed to sort out the propaganda and sound bites.   I take voting serious and usually take my cheat sheet with me to the booth because there is too much on a ballot to remember all the things I need or want to keep in my mind.  My friend called voting with an absentee ballot  like an open-book test, maybe so, but I am sure I passed.

This morning my completed ballot went into the mail box.  Now I wish I had a button on my phone so I could send out information to the pollsters that my ballot was cast and I have no intention of sharing any information with them.   Asking me how I vote is sort of like asking me how much I weigh.   Neither of them are any of their business.    I have never given them any information, but now that I am done, I wish that there was a way to let them know they can stop calling me.   Some how I don’t imagine that will happen.

Old is Relative

Old for me has always been something that did not happen until you were in your 80’s or 90’s.   Even from a young age I reserved old from people who were older than my grandparents and even my great grandparents.    My grandparents were older, older than me, and older than my parents, but they were not old.   On the flip side of that I never knew how to define young.   Young was relative to your life experiences.  You could be an old soul in a young body.

So sometimes my body feels weary and old, and I get bogged down by that.  I need to remember that old is relative.  There are still tons of things I have yet to see, hear, and experience.    I am the beginning of the second side of my life, just the beginning.   Let’er rip!


I Never Imagined

This week in our bountiful basket there was two bunches of celery and we chose the Asian extra pack which gave us a third bunch.     I had two partially used bunches in our produce drawer.    Suddenly I had more celery than any one person or family could use.    Like so often I turned to the internet to find a way use produce in a new way.   We found a highly rate recipe for cream of celery soup.   I was unsure of this whole concept.   All I could think of was the congealed mess that comes out of the soup can and used for casserole.

I would never have imagined how great it was.   Both my husband and I declared it a winner.


I Feel Special

My husband and I don’t do Christmas, birthday or anniversary gifts, with each other, family or friends.     Instead we get gifts when we see something that speaks to us and tells us it the perfect item for some one and we want to share with them.   It is a statement that you are special.  My husband just told me I was special when I got my first bike in over 20 years.  I had been thinking about one, and looked at models for many weeks, but last Saturday it was coming to be.

I used to live in the city and ride my road bike daily back and forth to work.  It was one of my fittest periods in my life.   I made that commute  daily, and then carried my bike up three flights of stairs to my brownstone apartment.   Unfortunately I was part of an accident with someone who failed to yield.  That accident changed me, I no longer had the confidence on my bike and definitely had lost the gumption I needed to be out there with rush hour traffic and metro buses.

Over the years I have tried to get back “on that horse” more than once.   Finally I was ready and my husband let me know that he knew it too.   I now have a bike.

Today I rode it twice, taking little jaunts of 3/4 mile.   It shows that I have a long ways to go to getting fit enough to really go out there and do some serious distance.   The coolest part of it all is that this gift makes me feel pretty darn special.

Long Nights

This morning the dog starting making noises and I turned over in bed to discover it was after 7!  Now this is unusual for me as I am a morning person, and by 7 I am often already at my desk and got at least an hour under my belt.   Not this year!

I not sure why, but this year my body wants to sleep until the sun comes up.   Last year a friend blogged about her body wanting to hibernate each fall.     It was a fun read, but I could not get my head around it.    Suddenly this is happening to me.   My body no longer wants to keep its circadian rhythm.  If it doesn’t get light outside until after 7 it is staying deep sleep. Mind you we have a dark bedroom so there are no hints in our little sleeping den about what is going on in the outer world.

I am not sure what is going on, but I am hoping my body wills soon return to normal or I may have to get out that alarm clock.