Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Juggling to Get the Lard Off

I’ve been doing well the last couple of days on my latest effort to lose the lard. This is my 3rd day of doing 15 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage (MUCH easier when I can get my music to play.)  I’m also folding myself into a paper airplane – doing 30 minutes of deep stretching yoga for old broads – slowly and carefully, as I’ve apparently tied myself in knots over the period I didn’t practice. I’ve done really well on my low-carb eating plan of  40 carbs per day and 1200 calories per day. Actually, I’ve had an easy time of staying under the calorie limit, but I’ve really had to juggle to get my carbs in line!

My laxness lately and the on-again-off-again cold weather here has caused my usually reasonable judgment to nosedive. My husband and I really like the fried catfish sold for lunch at one of the local deli’s. I’m getting two pieces of fish. (My husband gets the full dinner.)  Today I can make us a nice big salad for dinner with kielbasa leftovers from a recent grill outside.  Several times, though, I’ve wanted to serve our leftover beef stew with low carb garlic bread. It’s obvious that any time we go to the deli that idea is out!

The thing that is really helping me adjust my thinking, portions, and meals is MyFitnessPal.com.

I usually eat the same thing for breakfast every day except Friday, when we go to Lunch Bunch (brunch for us.) I can add things as I go, and then figure out the rest of the day thanks to their really superior, easy-to-use database of foods. I can hunt for something, find it and add it to my personal list, or I can add something if I can’t find it. I can keep changing and juggling until the numbers add up the way I want them to. I’ve tried several other record-your-eating-and-exercise websites, and I find this is the best one for me.

It makes me feel good to be giving healthier eating and exercise my best efforts again.

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Trampoline?

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I’m trying, once again, to control my eating and increase my movement. This image above describes my efforts to date. I have just started recording my food intake and exercise on MyFitnessPal.com in an effort to –

  • acknowledge that I need to (I lie to myself a lot)
  • plead with my husband not to show me he loves me with a buttered muffin from the microwave
  • come to terms that my meals are okay, but the combinations are above my 1200 calories and 40 grams of carbs limit
  • focus my efforts to keep my mouth shut and my body active

I had my usual breakfast. We’re planning to stop at the deli to bring lunch home (I will either get fish or chicken ONLY – no ‘meal.’) I was going to have leftover beef stew and some garlic bread for dinner, but NO! That puts me way over my limit, so we’ll have a large salad, instead. I’ve built in my orange dream bar for desert. This combo will bring me in under on calories and at my limit on carbs for the day. I’m also going to do 15 minutes on my elliptical machine and 30 minutes in yoga stretches this afternoon.

I’m doing pretty well until after lunch. Then I go nuts for some reason. I have no clue why, but instead of continuing to be disgusted with myself, I’m changing what I’m doing. If I can do this for a week or so, I can get back on track. We’re not planning to have or go to any holiday parties. My biggest ‘enemies’ are my husband and myself.

I’ll make it a point to fix some things that are on my diet to eat as snacks, in case I think I’m starving to death. :0)

Today is Tuesday. I’ll plan to get back to you about my progress NEXT Tuesday. Hopefully, I can report that I’m being good and making progress.

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Ready for Winter?

We’re pretty much ready for winter now.

I finished mulching the flower planters yesterday – finally.

We cleaned out two square planters in order to plant new Rio Samba rose bushes in the spring. We converted two brick planters to be square foot planters for tomatoes, so four of our brick planters didn’t need mulch. The other 10 did. I feel good that things are cleaned out and protected now.

I dug up the elephant ear plant, potted it, and put it in the greenhouse.

 

Same for the Purple Passion plant. (I put two starter plants in water beside the big one. It would be fun if I could get those to grow. )

The jugs of water are an attempt to keep the plants warm in the greenhouse during the winter. I’m hoping the water will warm up during the day and keep the plants warm at night.

The Bibb lettuce is still doing well in my square foot garden.

 

Here is the Simpson lettuce. Both are in the same raised bed box, so when we have a freeze coming, I just have to cover one box with a sheet and clothespins. I’m hoping I can keep these alive for at least another month, if not more, depending on Mother Nature.

I’ve started two celery plants in pots on the window sill. I’ve never tried this before, so it should be fun.

 

This tomato plant is also on the window sill. I’m hoping I can keep it alive for the winter and replant it in the spring. Fingers crossed!

I still need to clean out the plants on the deck, but these are much easier to handle. They can wait for another day.

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Planting Finished for the Day

I just finished my planting for the day. I planted two celery plants from the bottoms I started in the house. (These are easy. Just cut off the bottom 2 inches of each bunch of celery and put them in a dish of water. When they have leaves showing well, transplant them to the garden.) If you want them to look like the bunches you get from the store, tie the little branches together with string. I just let them grow naturally, harvesting individual stalks when they look large enough.

 

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I told you that I dug out all the iris plants from the new iris planter in the back yard. The planter was totally root-bound (though I’m not sure that’s what you call it with iris). I don’t know how many rhizomes I dug out, but they filled two large buckets. Since I started with 15 plants two years ago, I again chose 15 rhizomes to replant. I’m going to choose several other places before winter to relocate the other ones. My husband wants more up and down the driveway. We’ll also plant some on the way to our shop, plus I want to have at least a couple of iris areas in the back yard. We’re not in a big hurry to do this, as I want to concentrate on weed whacking, lawn edging and weed killing, plus cleaning up flower planters first.

 

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I decided to try to start a head lettuce plant in the same manner I do for celery. I slammed the lettuce on the counter to make the core pop out, then put it in water. I planted the seedling, which looked much like these, except smaller, today. We’ll see how it does.

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Harvest – October 20, 2017

I took Amber out to the garden this morning.  I tried to harvest while she ‘helped me’ by trying to move two large plastic pots from the corner of the garden, take them under one of the raised bed planters and chew on them. I discouraged that, so she found some of the black weed barrier under some of the wood chip mulch and managed to pull some up. At this point, I thanked her for her help and put her on the other side of the fence to roam around until I got to a stopping point.

I harvested some of the largest leaves of the Bibb lettuce and Simpson lettuce.

 

I pulled up all the radishes. I’ll plant more later today, plus two celery plants and one head lettuce plant I started in the kitchen.

 

The lone spinach plant is doing very well, giving me 4 nice leaves today. I’ll take some spinach seeds out and plant them, as well today.

Also on my schedule is to re-plant several of the Iris rhizomes I dug up and separated this week. I’ll just plan on getting the one planter done today, taking my time on finding good spots to relocate the other iris around the yard.

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Fall Garden Pictures – October 2017

Here are 2 celery bottoms, one of which has sprouted a bit, and a core of head lettuce, which is also sprouting. I’ll move them to the garden soon.

 

Bibb lettuce, started from seed. I can start harvesting some of the leaves for salad soon.

 

Carrots. I need to read my square foot gardening book to figure out what to expect here and when.

 

celery plants. I’m harvesting separate stalks, since I didn’t tie them together as I was supposed to do.

 

Newish celery plants.

 

Radishes ready to harvest.

 

Simpson lettuce.  Some is ready to start using.

 

My sole spinach plant. I don’t know what happened that the other seeds didn’t make. I keep meaning to plant more, but the days get away from me.

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Fall Square Foot Gardening

Everything is coming along in the fall garden. I have several celery plants, with two more, plus one head lettuce plant, almost ready to go out to the garden. The radishes may be ready to harvest. Two types of lettuce, Bibb and Simpson, are almost ready to start harvesting for salads.  Carrot tops are getting taller.

 

Meanwhile, I just ordered a book that I hope will answer my never-ending questions about how to get started in my new greenhouse.

 

We visited with our friends, the Taylors, last night while bowling – and eating ice cream afterwards –  and I found out that I’m supposed to wait until the elephant ear leaves die, then cut them off and dig up the bulb, putting it in a pot of peat moss and storing it in the garage. Same with the pretty purple plant she gave me. I’m watching the lows on the weather forecast, planning to bring the two fall tomato plants into the greenhouse to put in large pots of Mel’s Mix. I have no idea if they’ll make it over the winter or not, but it’ll be fun to try.

Otherwise, I’ll wait to get my greenhouse book, then prep my seed starter trays, some with Mel’s Mix and some with peat pellets to see if there are different results. I’ll try to plant seeds of all the things I want in my spring garden.

I’ll try to get some pics of the fall garden and post them soon.

 

 

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New Recipes

I have found that trying to combine eating low-carb and feeding my diabetic husband to be a bit of a challenge. I fell into a trap of my own making several months ago, opting to eat what HE ate. NOT GOOD! Mostly now, I can fix low carb meals and then add extra things he can also eat into the mix.

I have found that getting a husband to try new foods, substitutions, and new recipes is a character-building exercise. For example, the substitutions of spaghetti squash for pasta and riced cauliflower for rice just won’t work for him. He’s like a little kid, making faces and being quite dramatic.  Happily, though, he is very supportive of my trying new recipes.

I tried one for chicken thighs in the crock pot last night. You’re supposed to thicken the juices with xanthan for use as a gravy. I made rice for him and I ate spaghetti squash. I like anything with a gravy-like sauce, so I thought it was pretty good. He praised the tenderness of the chicken, and he liked the rice, but the sauce, not so much.

I’ll cut up the leftover chicken tonight, combining it with cream of chicken/mushroom soup that he particularly likes, and serve it over rice for him and cauli-rice for me. It’s not quite as low-carb with the soup, but I can work around it to make my day come out under my limits.

Meanwhile, I’m glad we’ve found some substitutes for things he loves so he doesn’t feel deprived and walk around looking hangdog:

  • Arizona Zero Peach Tea
  • Alpine Sugar-Free Apple Cider Mix
  • A&W Sugar-Free Soda
  • Sweet Freedom Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Sweet Freedom Blue Bunny Ice Cream Cones
  • Jello Sugar-Free Cups

Now I just have to practice NOT feeling deprived MYSELF when he eats without having to worry about carbs…. (I’ll try to make a list of good things I have found that make eating low-carb much easier and post them for those who might be interested.)

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Today’s Harvest

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With the heat index, it feels like it’s 106 degrees F. here this afternoon. I came in dripping from just gathering the ripe tomatoes when we got home from Lunch Bunch and errands.

The tomato production has really slowed. We haven’t had anything but green ones for quite a while. Today, though, some had ripened. They aren’t as pretty as the previous ones, but they taste just as good. We’re coming to the end of the season now. I’m trying to get some tomato suckers started in the house that I can transfer to the greenhouse later, but it’s a challenge.

 

 

 

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Attitude is All

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This resonates with me and makes me laugh, but I don’t think this way anymore.

Today’s ‘yoge’ is “hips.”

I just finished getting a “Chicken with Creamy Orange Sauce” by Dana Carpender into the crock pot for dinner tonight. It’s amazing to me that we have never tried one of her low carb recipes we didn’t like. With her slow cooker recipes and her “15 Minute” low carb recipes, I have pretty much all I need to keep me on track. I also just got a low carb bread recipe book to use with a really odd-looking lime green silicone bread bowl thingie.

I have no clue whether this is actually useful or not, but I’ll give it a try and report back to you.

With rice for my husband (cauli-rice for me) and some salad, dinner is taken care of. When I finish this, I’ll make us some lunch.

MyFitnessPal.com is keeping me on track with my eating again. I keep being amazed at how far off I had gotten. I was making low carb meals, but was sabotaging my efforts with the portions, side dishes, and sugar-free stuff “I” was eating to be companionable with my husband. Now I’m being careful to stay under 1200 calories a day and under 40 grams of carbohydrates, plus move more.

 

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It’s encouraging that this 2nd round of the 8 sessions in the DVD set is a bit easier. I don’t kid myself that I’ll loosen up quickly, but I know that as long as I get on the mat every day with Cat Kabira, I’ll be working toward my goal. She has a very compassionate, encouraging manner that I find very appealing.

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One day at a time. The next weighing and measurement day is this coming Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be able to report a bit of progress.

Have a happy day!

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I’m Not Sure I Bend That Way…

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I just finished doing the “Lower Back” session on my “Gentle Yoga” DVD set by Sixtyandme.com. This is the 2nd time I’ve done this one since I got back in the saddle of eating RIGHT low carb and doing daily yoga again, and I have to admit it was a bit easier this time than last week.

That said, I seem to have spent YEARS stiffening up. I particularly notice that my arms and shoulders are stiff. It is very uncomfortable for me to lie on my back, lift my arms to about shoulder height or higher, and just lie there. I really feel an uncomfortable pulling telling me that people aren’t meant to open up that much. That’s MY problem, though, because clearly that shouldn’t be a problem. So each day, when we’re doing the final relaxation pose, I purposely put my arms in this position and concentrate on breathing into the tension I feel. I don’t know how long it will take for me to loosen up, but it’ll be worth whatever time that is.

I also find I cannot SIT on my feet from a bent knee position. The front of my thighs really scream. SO – after my relaxation, I get into that position for just a few seconds, hopefully longer each day, breathing into it.

I’m determined to get my body to loosen up. Each day I feel that I’m doing good things for my body. I used stupid excuses of what else I needed to do for a couple of months and lost ground, but I’ll get it back. As each pound leaves and each inch goes, I feel more and more confident that my lifestyle is the right one for me.

TaoLife.com

 

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Yesterday’s Harvest

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August 12, 2017 · 5:55 pm

Heat Index

The Best Years in Life

 

Since I wrote this morning, the rain stopped and the temperatures soared. It’s only 90 degrees F. outside now, with humidity around 65%, but if you’re working in the bright sunshine it’s HOT.

I’ve been doing a first-pass session of weeding in my raised bed, square foot garden. With all the wonky weather we’ve been having, the weeds have tried to take over.

I harvested some grape tomatoes, some celery stalks,  and a spaghetti squash. I’ll take pics in a bit and share them. I spent about 45 minutes, and that was really all I could do. I’m drinking cold water and wiping off my head with paper towels now, I’m so wet. UGH.

Still it was nice to know that some things are still doing well in the garden even now.

The new celery I’m starting, and the new experiment with the tomato suckers, and anything else, will stay in the house until it’s time to transfer them to the fall garden or the greenhouse. I’m supposed to be starting lettuce and spinach from seed at the end of August or the 1st of September! I’m hoping to have some nice, healthy transplants to go out in the fall garden and I’ll move any happy tomato plants into the greenhouse this fall. (Right now the thermometer in the greenhouse is still ready above 120 degrees F.)

I’ve had a lot of fun with my garden this year. As usual, I’m still learning a lot of what NOT to do next time, but I’m encouraged that I actually got celery and spaghetti squash to grow for the first time, and we had a really nice season of fresh tomatoes. I got a real harvest of sweet Georgia onions for the first time this year. They’re hanging in mesh bags in the pantry so that I can simply reach in and get one any time I would like. :0)

I’m hoping to have a nice crop of lettuce and spinach for the fall. Last year I lucked out and was still cutting leaves for salads into January!

Still reading about what else I can plant for the fall garden, and when I need to starts seeds. Will report back later.

I hope you’re having a happy day.

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Coming to the End?

I just harvested 3 more tomatoes while Amber and I were taking a walk, but they’re smaller and not as pretty. I’m grateful for whatever we can get at this point. I’m going to try to get some suckers from the tomato plants and plant them in pots in the house or on the deck for now. It’s still too hot to put them in the greenhouse. If I can keep them alive until they can go in there, I MIGHT be able to keep harvesting tomatoes for quite a while! Can’t wait to start the experiment.

I showed you two spaghetti squash(es) I harvested a week or so ago. I cooked them a couple of days ago and was able to freeze them into individual size servings – enough for 10 meals! I have about three more coming in the garden.  I also am still able to harvest handfuls of grape tomatoes – a fun thing to throw into salads or have with dip with celery and carrots.

I still have some celery growing, and have more on the kitchen counter getting ready to put out. My celery doesn’t look like what you buy at the store. I have read that I’m supposed to be tying the stalks together. I’ll try that one of these days, but I’m just cutting off stalks and bringing them in.

 

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Day One – Dose of Reality!

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So – This is Day One of Finding-my-Act-and-Getting-it-Together-Again.

I finally did my first yoga session since we adopted our new puppy May 13th. I may have even stopped before that, but it shows how far my intentions have gotten off the track. I did “Neck and Shoulders” today of what I call the “Old Ladies Yoga” DVD. It’s actually called, “Gentle Yoga” put out by Sixtyandme.com. The teacher is Cat Kabira, and she’s a wonderful, accepting, caring person. She encourages you to be the best you can be, accepting where you are and what you are able to do at the given time, and encourages you to KEEP DOING IT.  I had never done yoga, and was intimidated at first, but I started really feeling a difference after several lessons.  There are 7 lessons devoted to particular parts of the body and then an ‘overall flow’ session which takes the ‘best’ moves from each of the other sections. Then there is a 2nd DVD called, “Gentle Yoga Flows.” I’ll work my way up to that one again.

I went back to the MyFitnessPal.com website and signed in for the first time in a LOOOOONG time. I had deluded myself that, since I was cooking low carb and we were trying to find substitutes for the things my husband, a Type II diabetic, missed the most, that sugar-free somehow meant not many calories or carbs.

I have to admit I was pretty shocked when I started to list what I had already eaten, plus planned to eat the rest of the day. I had to really work to juggle things to get back into my under 1200 calories per day and under 40 carbs a day I was doing previously. LOTS of changes and a BIG dose of reality. My husband can continue to eat as he has been, but “I” cannot!

I also had to acknowledge the ground I’ve lost on weight loss and measurements loss. :0(

OKAY. Today is DAY ONE. I’m already doing better than I was yesterday. I’ve acknowledged the error of my ways and I’m stopping the delusions under which I’ve been living for the past few months. I’m listing everything I eat or drink and have gotten back into my yoga practice. I’m moving more otherwise, doing lots of work outside and projects with my husband, plus walking the new puppy several times each day. I started with an average of under 2,000 steps per day. Now my average is 4 or 5,000 per day. I’ll see how much I can add to that.

I’ll try to report back to you each Saturday. I may not give you numbers for awhile, at least until I’m back where I was before my act was ‘lost,’ but I’ll do my best to be better than I was yesterday EVERY day.

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Where is my Act and What Have You Done with It?

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I was doing pretty well, eating low carb, losing weight, getting better numbers on my quarterly blood tests with the doctor, learning yoga for old broads and doing it daily. Then ‘something happened,’ and I lost it.

I have umpteen excuses, but no one, including me, is interested.  What is good is that I am FINALLY wanting to get my act back together, rather than ignoring the whole problem and playing Pitiful Pearl.

I do well on my eating until late afternoon and after.

  • I’m going to start drinking a glass of ‘Meta,’ Appetite Control Sugar-Free Orange Zest Dietary Supplement mid afternoons. I also got some sugar-free gum, hoping that if I’m chewing on something, I won’t stuff my face with anything else.
  • I’m going to start using the crock pot again, getting dinner going in the morning when I have the most energy, rather than waiting until after I’m exhausted to fix dinner.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING – as soon as I finish typing this – doing at least one session of  “old broad” yoga.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING listing my food and exercise on MyFitnessPal.com as I used to do.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING drinking more water. I already do it when I’m hot from working outside, but I’ll try to make sure that I drink much more than I am now regardless of my work load.

I HOPE to be able to report to you soon that I am back in the saddle of good eating habits, plus moving more, and starting to get results again. I hope that if you’re having challenges in trying to treat yourself better, you’ll find the motivation to start again with me.

 

TaoLife.com

 

 

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Multi-Shampoo Day

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Heat index is 110 degrees F. today. UGH.

Amber and I went out to the garden to plant 3 celery plants and take pics of my squash. Then we walked out to the greenhouse so we could take pics of my husband’s ham radio tower which now has THREE sections together. By the time we got back to the house, my head was not only wet, it was dripping. UGH. It’s always hot in Arkansas in the summer ( July and August are the worst). We’re used to that, insulating ourselves from the heat as much as possible. This year, though, we’ve had a lot more humidity than usual. I’m too old for humidity, I find. I refuse to wash my hair more than three times a day, though – so if you’re coming to see us, I might look like an exploded dandelion.

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Since I  planted my first celery this year, I’ve learned two things:

Thing One – I’m supposed to be giving them a lot more water than the rest of my garden plants. I’ll keep using the irrigation system, but will also arrange to add extra water to the celery a couple of times a day.

Thing Two – I’m supposed to be tying the stalks together tightly as they grow. I’ll give that a try, but I’m not sure that’s a workable thing. I may just continue to come out and cut some stalks when they’re ready and let the plant do its natural thing.

I planted two spaghetti squash plants grown from seed taken from one bought at the store and sprouted in a glass in the kitchen. I now have FIVE spaghetti squash(es)! I’m not sure what the plural of ‘squash’ is. Anyhow, they’re looking great. Pics below.

I spent about an hour in the raised bed square foot garden yesterday trying to catch up on the weeds. I got things pretty much under control. Even with irrigation, the heat is stressing plants out now, so I’m feeling lucky to have anything still alive. I’m concentrating on trying to keep the plants as comfortable as possible, growing where and how they want to.

This grape tomato plant spread out all over one whole 4’x4′ square planter. Since it has blossoms all over it, I’m just letting it take over the planter.

 

The marigolds are happy. They don’t have very many plants to protect right now. Such happy-looking flowers! (Celery plants are along the back of the marigolds.)

 

Two of the spaghetti squash. I’m just pulling up the vines that spill over the box, spreading the vine carefully over the dirt and letting them go where they may. I put special plastic melon holders under the squash for support. I guess I’ll harvest these soon, as they’re getting to be the size of some I’ve bought at the store. They have blossoms on the vines, too, so I may get more!

 

Three new celery plants planted this morning.

 

 

Two more spaghetti squash(es). you can see a couple of yellow squash blossoms.

 

And this is a dog plant……

Amber went with me to plant the celery and take pictures this morning. She loved walking around under the planter boxes, enjoying the new world…  she got hot, too, and jumped into her pool on the way back from taking pics of my husband’s tower.

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Tomatoes! July 21, 2017

We had a GREAT harvest today. It’s so hot that even though we have an automatic watering system, the plants are pretty stressed. I’m not sure if we’ll have any more or not this year.  We mustn’t be TOO greedy, though. We’ve had a truly great year for fresh tomatoes – plenty for us and more for family and friends, plus ones to freeze. YUM!

The next time I go out, I’m planning to weed the raised bed square foot garden. I’ll take pics to post.

 

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Tomato Harvest 7-18 – 2017

Well, I pruned the tomatoes in the nook planter, taking out a LOT of particularly the plant on the left side of the planter. Then I moved to the 8 foot brick planter to the east of the house where the other tomato plants are, pruning them. I got pretty ruthless, because I want all the nutrients and energy going to the parts of the plants that might actually produce.

The plants don’t look pretty now, but it looks like they’re responding to the pruning, fertilizer and Seven I put on them about a week ago.

Here is today’s harvest. We’re really pleased with our crop this year. We’ve been oohing and ahhhing at lunch and dinner, eating a BUNCH of sliced ripe tomatoes at every meal except for breakfast. We particularly enjoy giving people we like bags of tomatoes, since we have more than we can eat. (I now know how to can, but I hate to give any of them up when I can eat them fresh off the vine.)

Our friends Laufrain and Dave (our friends and bowling buddies) were telling us last night how pretty the tomatoes were and how good they tasted. :0)

We also gave some to our driller and brush hog master, Foy, and his wife, Judy.

Who can ask for more from a bit of work to grow them?

Sheer luxury!!!

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Tomato Fairies?

My husband and I did errands, and made them a LOT more fun by taking bags of tomatoes to 4 of our friends.

We took a bag to our hair stylist,Michael;  our good friends the Taylors; our friend Carla; and our friend Nora. Carla and Nora weren’t home, so I texted them to make sure they’ll find them later.

One of the best things in the world is being able to grow something you really love eating. When you have more than you can eat, it’s even more fun to share the wealth with people you love.

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An Embarrassment of Wealth

This is what I harvested today, with more ripening on the vines.

The vines themselves aren’t looking that great for some reason. It looks like a giant sat in the middle of the two plants in the nook planter, with collapsing and yellowing vines. The vines are too large to try to prop up without breaking them, so I’ll concentrate on pruning them a bit and adding fertilizer and hope for the best.

The plants in the 8 foot brick planter to the east of the house look better, but not as green or robust as they were. All the plants are putting out good tomatoes, though, so I’ll just do what I can and keep my fingers crossed.

We gave some tomatoes to our friend Carla when she came over the other day. We still have some in the fridge, and now we have this new harvest. GUESS what we’ll be eating!

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We’re Rich in Tomatoes!

A couple of days ago we were mourning that we had eaten all our good tomatoes. Look what was ready this morning – with more to be ripe in a day or two!

 

 

 

 

This is half of our onion harvest.

 

I cleaned them up and put them in these two mesh bags. They’re hanging from hooks in our pantry, continuing to dry out. We’ve eaten several, and they’re nice and sweet.

I’ve pulled most of the rest of our plants, with the exception of grape tomatoes, a couple of spaghetti squashes, and lots of celery.

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Tomato Plants From Suckers – Take 1

These two tomatoes were ready to be harvested this morning. We have one harvested a couple of days ago, so we’ll feast on sliced tomatoes tonight!

Yesterday I tried to plant suckers in order to grow new tomato plants.

“Tomato suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch. (See photo above.) If left to grow, they will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and more suckers of their own.”

I carefully gathered several suckers, went to my greenhouse where I had pots of Mel’s Mix ready, moistened the bottom of each sucker in water and then stuck it in rooting hormone  (shaking off the excess) and put the suckers in the pots. I then watered the pots. It was really hot in the greenhouse so I left the thermostat-controlled exhaust fan on.

 

This is what the thermometer in the greenhouse showed this morning, although it didn’t feel that bad. The exhaust fan is set to start and run when the temperature inside the greenhouse is 90 degrees F. or higher. It was off. The outside temperature is 77 right now.

 

As you can see, Trial 1 was a failure.  I chose and cut the suckers carefully. The fact that I planted in the heat of the day, rather than in the morning or right before dark may have been a factor. I read the directions on the rooting hormone and followed them carefully, so I don’t think that’s the problem. The fact that the thermometer is reading so high vs the exhaust fan being off may be a factor. I may bring the thermometer in and see if it’s working correctly. *

*It’s now about 45 minutes later. I brought the thermometer inside and my husband shook it. It has red dye now in the bottom of the package. Apparently, the temperature in the greenhouse blew its top off. We’ll hunt for a different style today while we’re out.

On a happier note – I harvested the first of the experiment to try to grow celery from the bottoms cut off stalks bought at the store.

 

 

I cut off the bottom of the stalks of celery I bought at the store and put each in a glass of water. These need to grow a bit more before they’re ready to be taken out to the garden and planted. (If you look carefully, you can see that in the glass that’s second from the left, I’ve put the end of a head of lettuce in a glass, just for giggles.)

 

The celery plants are bushy, rather than looking like what you get at the store. I cut the largest stalks, leaving the smaller ones to hopefully grow.

 

There is a LOT of greenery on each stalk. I washed everything, then cut off the stalks into usable pieces, washed them again, and then took the bowl of cut celery to my husband in the living room where we each tried one. Oddly enough, they taste like celery! :0)

I’m like a kid at Christmas. After several tries and several failures, I’m actually growing edible celery! Woo HOOOO!

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1st Tomato Harvest

Yesterday the first tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I saw a couple that will be ready in a few days, too. We feel rich!

This is a wonderful time of the year for us. We LOVE going out to test the tomatoes to see if any more are ready to come in and be devoured.

We ate three of these with our dinner last night and may finish up this first harvest this evening. I guess that people who have grown up having gardens know all the veggies and fruit that homegrown tastes so much better than what you can buy at the store, but the only one I personally know about is tomatoes.

I wish you were here so I could share with you

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Almost Ready to Bite!

This tomato is in the 8 foot brick planter to the east of the house.

 

And these are in the “Nook” planter between the house and the porch.

They’re still too firm to pick, but in another day or two, we BITE!

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Tomato Plants

Huffington Post

One of my husband’s and my favorite things in the world is home grown, red, ripe, sliced tomatoes with a meal. No matter what else we try to grow, tomatoes are the main thing.

We built a raised bed, square foot garden for our other veggies (though I AM trying some grape tomatoes in two of the squares this year), but we moved our tomato plants to the east side of the house. We have a brick planter in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch at the end of the house, plus an eight foot brick planter on the east end of the house.

 

This is the 8 foot planter. We have six plants here. We planted two plants every two weeks.

 

This is “The Nook”. There are only two plants here, planted two weeks apart. As you can see, we have really large plants that are difficult to keep supported.

 

Here is a closeup  of some of our green tomatoes.

 

And here are more.

 

And HERE is the first ripening tomato! Whooopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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State of the Garden

Here is celery I started inside by cutting off the bottom 2″ of the stalks I bought from the store, putting them in water, and then transplanting them to the garden.  I’m not getting neat ‘stalks’ like you buy at the store, but the plants look healthy. I’m not sure if I should cut off individual stalks as they grow or what. It sure is fun watching them grow, though.

 

This is a grape tomato plant. If you look carefully, you can see the yellow blossom at the top.

 

Here’s a second plant where you can see the tiny green tomatoes growing.

 

I managed to save a few romaine lettuce plants and one red leaf lettuce plant.

 

I feel like a kid at Christmas. This is a spaghetti squash grown from a seed I removed from one I had bought at the store and cooked. Isn’t it cute! :0)

I’ll try to get pics of my tomato plants to show you tomorrow.

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Garden After the Storms

The temperature right now is 58 F., and there is a gusty wind. The sun is finally shining. I’m feeling really grateful that the Greenwood area of Arkansas seems to have come through the storms pretty well.  Fort Smith got some hail damage, power outages, and some wind damage, but overall, it could have been a lot worse.

I went out for the first time since Thursday to see what was left of our garden.  There is no major damage. The plants are beaten up some, but seem to still be alive. I’ll be spending a lot of time out there, once it warms up a bit, trying to prune the dead parts off the plants, etc.

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started in my kitchen from one I bought from the store. It seems to be doing fine, although there is no sign of any veggie yet.

 

I think I’ll probably go ahead and harvest all of the radishes and plant more in other squares.

 

This is the largest of the celery plants I started inside, cutting the bottoms off stalks I bought at the store. I have a couple more plants to bring out to the garden. Again, I have no clue what to expect. I may just get leaves, but I’m having fun watching. :0)

 

I’ll need to do a LOT of pruning on the lettuce and the spinach. They both got pretty battered with all the wind and rain.

 

I’m going to go ahead and harvest the broccoli plants before they shoot spears up. I’m hopeful I’ll get more heads from the other parts of the plants.

Look at this! I’m delighted to see this sweet cauliflower head. I think I’m supposed to arrange for the leaves to cover the heads so the head will stay white.

 

As you can see, LOTS of pruning will be needed to get the plants looking the way they should, but I’m grateful that the garden seems to have come through all the severe storms okay.

 

 

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Garden Images – April, 2017

I’ve just come in from a little over an hour of weeding and pruning in the garden. The pictures here were taken BEFORE I did that, ad I’m cringing a bit that you can see some little weeds and leaves that need to be removed, etc., but I wanted to share my delight in how well things seem to be doing now.

I actually have little bitty heads of broccoli coming on!

 

This is a terrible picture, but I have TWO cauliflower heads showing!

 

This is the largest celery plant, though I have several others. No clue yet whether I’ll actually get a stalk or not. (See what I mean about the little weeds? Most of them are gone now.

 

These are Georgia Sweet Onions. They seem to be happy now, rebounding from the hail storm.

 

This is one of two squares of radishes.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started from seed in the house.

 

And spinach. I was so delighted to find plants for sale this year at the local co-op. I hope that I thanked the guy effusively enough that he’ll try to get them again and again. I can’t be the only person looking for them and wanting to grow it.

I mainly cut up spinach for salads, or put the leaves in the rare sandwiches we eat now. I’m going to try to actually cook the leaves this year. It might be a thing where we love the stuff in the can, but the actually fresh leaves taste like a completely ‘different animal.’

Does anyone have directions for how best to cook fresh spinach leaves?

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Getting the Lard Off Report 3/31/2017

Today is DAY 5 our renewed efforts on eating healthier and moving more.

YourEllipticals.com

I want to get started gathering ‘goodies’ for the new hummingbird bird bath, but I acted like an adult (at least more than usual :0) ) and did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I’m listing all my food, plus my exercise, on MyFitnessPal.com, getting a more realistic idea of the amount I’m eating and making sure it’s 1200 calories or less, and 40 grams of carbohydrates or less, each day.

Later today I’ll do one session of yoga.

World of Female

I’ll report to you on Wednesday of next week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you that we’re definitely making progress again.

If nothing else, I’m feeling better than I’m TRYING.

taolife.com

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Coming Clean

Jacqueline A. Lyons

Okay. My husband and I have been doing a TERRIBLE job lately on following our low carb diet, exercising, and getting healthier. We have lots and lots of excuses, none of which actually hold water when held up to the light – (to mix a bunch of metaphors and clichés’.)

SO –

Last night we agreed that Monday morning we’re going to start being adults again. To this end, we enjoyed KFC last night, and we’re going to Subway tonight for the condemned  “last meal.”

This morning I started getting ready to be seriously good. I made a careful list of menus for the coming week and a grocery list to go with it. When we returned from shopping, I started cooking.

  • I have a rump roast in the crock pot which is starting to smell really good.
  • I hard-boiled a dozen eggs
  • I cut up a huge bowl of celery to go with the baby carrots and cherry tomatoes we eat with a low carb dip.
  • I made sugar-free banana puddings for my husband
  • And sugar-free chocolate puddings for me.
  • I made low carb sausage balls.

___________________

  1. I’m going back to listing everything I eat on MyFitnessPal.com, trying to stay under 40 carbs and 1200 calories per day. I’m building in a reward of an orange dream bar each evening into the count, as I did before.
  2. I’m going to start drinking a lot more water, trying for at least 48 oz daily.
  3. I’m going back to doing whatever amount of time I can on the elliptical every day.
  4. I’m going to do at least one lesson in yoga daily.

I KNOW I can do this. NO MORE EXCUSES! NO MORE WEAKNESS!  Wish me luck?

taolife.com

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