Saturday, February 09, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Eat Your Vegetables!

"Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn."

-Garrison Keillor

Mmmm... veggies. Pretty to look at, easy and fun to grow, delicious to eat, healthy for the body, oh so very photogenic! If you have known me long, you know how much I love my veggies. I like to cook, and I have come up with a number of recipes that even to most veggie avoiding person would enjoy. Tall tale you say? Well, how does Vegetable Lasagna sound? How about Rainbow Stuffed Peppers? Maybe you would like my Vegetable Pizza ALA Carly. That's what you are looking at above. Low-calorie, heart healthy, and really yummy! In our house, vegetables ROCK! Don't forget, February is Heart Health Awareness month! So, EAT YOUR VEGETABLES! :)

Our fellow Robin Jill, who authors the blog, Letting Crazy Take A Spin, suggested this challenge recently. We are always looking for cool new challenge ideas, so come on, what are you waiting for? Put on your thinking caps and send us your suggestions. If we chose your idea, you will get full credit, and a special link for that challenge.:) For now, show your support for your fellow Robins by paying them a visit and seeing their veggie themed entries. And don't forget that the next challenge will be announced tomorrow, so be sure to look for that new entry on the official Round Robin Blog.

How I Make My Veggie Pizza

Start With The Homemade Dough

Add the yummy toppings

Bake in the oven

More yummy toppings

A different yummy pizza

And still another yummy version

Veggies... They Do A Body Good! ;)

Linking List *Welcome New Members!

1. Jill... Letting Crazy Take A Spin

2. Carly... Ellipsis

3.*Carlo...Captured by Carlo

4. Sandy... Myanderings

5. Shorty... I Couldn't Help Myself

6. Momma... Sandcastle Momma

7. Martha... Perception

8. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

9.*Swampy...Anecdotes, Antidotes & Anodes

10. Lisa... Lisa's Chaos

11. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

12.Sarah... Charish-Me

13.*Jan... The Prytz Family

14. Suzanne R... Living... Suzanne R's Life

15. Sandra... Strong Chemistry

16. Janet... Fond Of Snape

17. Annie... Pictures Of Craziness

18. Kim... Nekked Lizard Adventures

19. Vicki... Maraca

20. Marie... Photographs & Memories

21. Robinella... Robin's Nest

22. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix

23. Kiva... Eclectic Granny

Berkeley, California
February 4th, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Little Penguin

"Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world. In a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity."

-Jean Houston

While I was driving around Berkeley the other day, I spotted this little stuffed penguin in a window. At first glance I thought he looked a little sad, but as I continued to eye him, I thought maybe he wasn't sad, but rather in deep thought as he looked upon the world. Or maybe he was lonely for the human friend he lives with, or maybe he was just curious about the weather. I have looked and looked but I can't decided what his story might be. If you care to leave your thoughts please do so. Can you tell what he might be thinking?

"The Little Penguin"
Berkeley, California
February 6th, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I'll Follow The Sun

"Sunshine cannot bleach the snow, nor time unmake what the poet's know."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sun is out today. There is a chill in the air, it is winter after all, but looking up, and seeing blue skies makes me so happy that I don't really notice the chill. I could become addicted to days like this. For the most part, I am a happy girl. I have some realities I wish I didn't, like the Type2 diabetes, but a little rain has to fall. It's just life. I wish I could help others... or rather I wish they would let me help them. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people all my life, both here on the Internet, and in my real life.

I have met some people who have meant a lot to me. I have a current friend who I think I could help feel better about themselves, by sharing some of the lessons I have learned, sometimes the hard way, but they glaze over when I try. It hurts. Not that they won't take my advice, but that they won't even try. I want to encourage my readers and my friends to strive to be the best they can be, but sometimes I feel like when I do some folks run as hard as they can in the opposite direction. I don't understand why they would do that.

I have had challenges to face like everyone else. I haven't been a happy lady every single moment of my life. Not at all. In fact I got so sad, I stopped living all together at one point. I eventually got back up, because the alternative would have been death. Maybe it was cowardice, but I couldn't face never seeing the sun again. Never hearing a new song on the radio, never tasting my beloved chocolate dipped strawberries, which are only 45 calories for two medium sized dipped berries! And never touching Alan, or petting Elvis.

I have seen friends run straight into heart disease, and diabetes by way of their eating habits. I lost one of those friends. One day, at 37 she had a heart attack and died. She was alive and fine at noon, and by three that afternoon she was dead. No second chance. No warning. Dead. My other friend got warning after warning. She went through life with the assumption that karma would take care of her. "I am a good person, bad things won't happen if I am a good person." One day she fainted at work, she then began peeing herself, which was a combination of urine and blood. Her kidney's began to shut down. Ignoring the doctor's warning 6 year's earlier that she was in prediabetes, she now had an average blood glucose level of well over 400.

We all watched as she ran headlong into the symptoms of severe diabetes. We all tried, and her eyes glazed over and she avoided us. She went to our mutual friend's funeral 10 year's earlier, and cried along with us, and I wanted to ask her, what she supposed our friend did to deserve dying at 37, hadn't she been a good person? Was this karma? Why didn't our friend deserve a second chance?

I suppose I was in the anger stage of grief. I just don't know. Sigh. Was there anything I could have said or done? Did I do all I could? After my friend was diagnosed with kidney failure, she began to change her lifestyle, but the word "Diabetes" was not to be mentioned. It was a rule. (Insert TEARS here). I have learned so much about diet and nutrition over the last 6 months. I know I can help my current friend... I know I can.

But he/she won't let me. Will I be going to another funeral in the near future? What good are we in life, if we can't, or won't share the lessons we have learned to help other's lead a longer, healthier life? My current friend shares that he/she isn't feeling well, and that he/she is in some pain. He/she describes eating mostly high calorie/high cholesterol foods for convenience reasons, and is a measure of overweight. I know they would like to look better, because that is what they mention most often, but they don't really share about the health concerns they may or may not have.

So tell me, when you see someone hurting themselves do you try to intervene? Do you try to help? Or do you just resign yourself to let people be who they are? Is it wrong to try to help someone, even if they don't ask for it? When do you intervene? Do you ever give up? Do you keep knocking?

If you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts please do so, or, feel free to send me your thoughts by email. But either way... just know... having me as a friend comes with my personal philosophy that everyone can be the best that they can be, if they make the effort to do so, and that I will care about you, and encourage you to be the best you can be, but don't look to me to enable your destructive behavior. Fair enough?

Remember, February is National Heart Health Awareness month! Use your blog for GOOD! Do your own entries about how you try to live a healthy lifestyle. Encourage your readers to educate themselves on living a healthy lifestyle. Share your own tips on staying active or eating properly. Come on. Encouraging others will make you feel good inside.

Now I am off to eat my Campbell's Tomato Soup, and Fresh Green Salad ala Carly! And later today I am going to take my camera, and follow the sun, for about 2 miles or so. LOL.

Mmm, Mmm Good! :)

Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, California
January, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Karen's Monday Photo Shoot #6: Looking At Glass

"You us a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see yourself."

-George Bernard Shaw

Monday Photo Shoot#6: Show us something made of glass.

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

I feel like I kind of took a liberty with this Monday Photo Shoot, but after all, most window panes are made of glass... right? I took this photo last February, at the Conservatory Of Flowers, in Golden Gate Park. The little face drawn in the dust, of the dirty glass window pane, made me smile. For that afternoon, the Aquatic Plants room had a special little spirit watching over it. :)

"Happy Spirit"
Conservatory Of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
February 14th, 2007

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

On An Average Tuesday

"I think it's about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we've been voting for boobs long enough!"

-Clarie Sargent

Today is the California Primary, as well as in 24 other states. I have already cast my ballot, but Alan will cast his vote a little later today. It promises to be a nail bitting day on the Democratic side of things, while Romney is the front runner here in California, for the Republicans.

I am hoping when all is said and done, Hillary Clinton will take California for the Democratic nomination. I believe in her, and what she's trying to accomplish. I watched her, Town Hall Meeting, last night on the Hallmark channel, and I continue to be impressed by not only the answers she gives to the questions facing our country, but also the viability of her solutions to our many difficulties. I hear the word "CHANGE" a lot, we all want CHANGE, so I have to ask, does CHANGE really get anymore profound then letting a woman lead the country for the first time?

There is just 349 Days to go, until the collective sigh of relief is heard round the world! NOW GO VOTE! :)

"Decision 2008"

Monday, February 04, 2008

Karen's Weekend Assignment #201: The Food Rut

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces, because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."

-Yogi Berra

Weekend Assignment #201: To promote a new cooking show, a TV station is going to pay you $500 to eat the same basic meal every day for a week, prepared with only minor variations by their on-screen host. What's on the menu?

Extra Credit: Do you tend to eat the same thing all the time anyway?

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, "Outpost Mavarin."

Pizza. I LOVE pizza but until recently, I had all but given up on it. I got a serious hunger pang for pizza a couple week's ago, and decided to check out my options as a diabetic. I have found some fantastic recipes on the Internet for some low-calorie, low-fat pizza crust. So, in my fantasy world, I would have that make believe cooking show host be demonstrating the wonders of the diabetic friendly pizza, and I would be more then happy to help them out. :) See, I still pay close attention to things like my blood glucose levels, even in my fantasies. LOL. I think that probably makes me just a tad boring. LOL. Oh well.

Extra Credit: Nah. I love a variety of good food. It is just Alan and myself, and I usually cook meals for two, or I make meals with leftovers that can be transformed into other dishes. As an example, Meatloaf becomes a Meatloaf Sandwich for lunch the next day, or maybe I will transform it into a pot of Meatloaf Vegetable Soup. But usually we have a different dish every night.

" Homemade Pizza Night"
February 1, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

1 Of 10,000

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."


I Won! Won! I Won! Yes, I did! Are you anxious to know what I won? Are you on the edge of your seat? Are you biting your nails in anticipation? Are you thinking it might be the California Lottery? Maybe Powerball? Or it could be Carly has won the Democratic Nomination in blogging! ROFLMAO! Nah... it's nothing that amazing, really, but it was kind of fun, and it proves something, people have a certain kind of luck in their lives, good, bad, it's all in how you view things.

A few days ago, Alan came in from the mailbox, with a small square brown box, addressed to me. I hadn't ordered anything, so it was a bit of a mystery. What could possibly be in the little box? I looked it over for a return address, and there was one, but it was completely smudged, so I grabbed the scissors and cut the sides away, to find a nifty new OneTouch Ultra Mini glucose meter... in my favorite color... Pink Glow! Just like the one I got a couple week's ago as a free upgrade to my current OneTouch Ultra2 meter! LOL. It seems I had won the OneTouch Ultra 2 Colors contest, back in November, and I had NO idea. I never recieved a letter or email telling me I had won, but sometime around November I was 1 of 10,000 who did. Now I have two mini meters in Pink Glow, and one Ultra2 in the standard Navy Blue and Silver. :)

Alan and I laughed and laughed. It was only a couple week's earlier that I checked for the free upgrade, because I thought I hadn't won. It was still a fun little moment to realize I won, and it brought with it the distinct feeling of Deja vu. See, a similar thing happened back in the 90's. I was in great need of a bedside clock. I didn't want anything too fussy, but I also didn't want one that just BEEEEEEEPED either. I finally settled on a smart little woodgrain clock radio. It was small and sleek and worked really well. It was nice waking up to Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan. :) Music makes me smile.

I was happy with that little clock. About a week after I purchased it, I got a call from my bank, it seems I had won a little contest I had entered to "Choose The Bank's Team Softball Colors." I picked Dark Green/Light Green... you know... like money. :) Well, other's chose that combination also, so there were multiple winners. The grand prize winner was chosen by the time of day the entry was made. But anyway, can you guess what I won? Yep, that's right, I won a nifty new clock radio, the very same clock radio I had purchased just a week earlier! LOL. I loved that clock. Actually, I loved both those clocks. Both were stolen from me, when we stored our belongings temporarily. It made me a little sad, I know it was just a clock, but it was my clock, and it helped me be on time for some important things in my life. Silly, I know, but I come by my sentimentality honestly... I am a Cancer after all.

If you look in the above photo, you will see that I once got a fortune that said, "You will be lucky in autumn." LOL. I got that fortune in the spring of 2006, and I kind of assumed it meant the Autumn of that year, but hey, that was me making an assumption. LOL. It said, "the autumn," it didn't say which autumn. LOL. So now I have a glucose meter that I can carry in both of my purses, and one that will always sit on my desk. The OneTouch company is coming out with even more colors for the OneTouch Ultra Mini, and one of them is a gorgeous purple. I might just pick that one up, when it is made available. I am such a fashion puss, and besides, purple is the hot color for spring this year! :)

"You Will Have Luck In Autumn"
Berkeley, California
Spring, 2006