Monthly Archives: March 2010

What happened?

Is one made a hippie or born a hippie?  This is what I contemplated as I biked my way home from my locally owned market with my OPB (local NPR affiliate) reusable bag brimming with organic collard greens, beets and radishes.  Yikes.  I really am one of those people.  Did this happen because I moved to Oregon?  Has it always been in me?  Did I read too many books and see too many documentaries on the state of US food production these days?

I was a kid raised on fast food, doritos and as much Dr Pepper that I could get my hands on.  Let me break down a typical day of food in high school for me was:

Breakfast:  Lucky Charms with marshmallows consumed last.  If I had to (mostly because Lucky Charms weren’t on sale that week), I’d settle for fruit loops or rice crispies.  Oh and those limited edition Cap’n Crunch Berries Only.  Yum.

Lunch:  Peanut Butter sandwich on the whitest bread possible, chewy chips ahoy and a coke.

Dinner:  Taco Bell:  three tacos and a Dr Pepper.    Probably some Doritos at home if I could get them

I’m surprised I’m still alive after all of that.  Gross.  Imagine how much energy I would have had if I ate what I eat today instead.  How did I have any useable, viable energy for sports?  I probably would have been a better athlete.  Grant it I was an extremely picky eater.  Apparently sugar was the only product I deemed suitable to consume.

So now, it’s a lot more vegetables, fruit and a lot less crap.  Eating out happens maybe once or twice a week.  There’s no packaged food (does pasta count?) on my shelves.  Just basic ingredients.  Cooking is a fun thing to do now and not a chore.  I think about what I can make for dinner ahead of time.  It’s not always glamorous by any means, but it’s home cooked by my little hands.  There’s a lot of learning still to do.  Oh and I love cheese.

I stopped eating fast food 7 1/2 years ago.  I don’t miss it.  Even today I was thinking about how I still sometimes get Steak n’ Shake when I’m back in Indiana.  This past time I got the chili and haven’t felt so terrible in such a long time.  Looks like they are off my radar now too.

Dr Pepper though still holds a very special place in my heart.  I can’t kick it and was extremely happy when they came out with Heritage Dr Pepper (real sugar.  What a novelty!).  It seems like it’s gone now though.  Any suggestions on how to kick this habit?

Where has all this gotten me?  I am still the same weight I was in high school.  Physically I feel awesome despite being a bit weak muscle wise.  I drink beer but don’t have a beer belly.  I’m happier and have my life well sorted.  Eating well won’t sort your life for you, but it does help.

Try it out if you can kids.  You may surprise yourself.  My picky eating days are behind me (ham and oranges, I still don’t like you sorry).  Collard greens got on my radar a couple weeks ago and to me they are the best thing since sliced bread.  I can’t stop eating them!  I think about them all the time and how delicious they taste when I prepare them. Collard Greens, olive oil, garlic, onion cooked down and then spray with lemon juice.  So simple yet so good.

Eat well and be well.  Hippie life for ever.

Colleen, Fledgling Foodie.

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#20 Fever Pitch

Nick Hornby is an obsessed Arsenal fan.  In the book Fever Pitch he reveals some memorable times from his life long fanaticism of Arsenal.  It was a good insight into the world of a sports fanatic.  I am no where close to this with any of my favorite teams.  It seems like too much money for me to be able to do what he does (season tickets, plenty of away games, gear etc).  Maybe one day when I move to London and become a season ticket holder for Fulham I can begin to contemplate what it’s like for Nick.  But by then I’ll be about 20 years behind him.

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Sprouts in the sun

Sprout City

If anyone is enjoying the nice weather around here more than me, it’s probably my vegetable seedlings.  They’ve been happily bathing out on our front porch the last few days and they have very much benefited.  We’ve finally gotten the peppers to germinate (the last seeds to do so), so now it’s just a matter of making them exceedingly happy until they go in the ground.  They are a little spindly as they weren’t getting quite enough sunlight for a few days, but they should pop out of it soon.  It is a bit of a burden to be hauling the trays daily from the basement to the front porch.  This should only last another couple weeks (that’s if the weather holds!).  I’m super chuffed so far about the vegetable experiment of 2010.

What’s amazing is the amount of respiration and transpiration happening in the seed trays.  Within seconds of putting the plastic covers back on the plants the plastic fogs up and condensation begins to form.  Those buggers are super busy.  If left in the sun (and more importantly left alone by me) for a couple hours, there’s mega water to shed off the top.

This coming week I’m going to attempt to get soil, compost and fertilizer for the garden.  It’s only 2

Condensation is fun.

more weeks until I can hopefully start putting seeds and seedlings alike in the ground to start their life journeys.  They are like my little children, except they don’t talk back and I can micromanage the shit out of them without them complaining.  FUN!  Have a good weekend everybody.

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#19 The Golden Spruce

Just finished up The Golden Spruce on my porch which is quite sunny and enjoyable this morning/afternoon.  It’s a great book to read for any one, but especially for us Northwesterners.  There’ s a lot of history of logging and the encounters with Native Americans and white people.  Intermixed in it all is a story of an incredible tree, the Golden Spruce.  It was neat.  Now back on the Nick Hornby train….

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Back in action?

Yesterday I headed to the local disc golf course to introduce a new player to the game.  The plan was to limit my throwing to only left handed forehands for drives and maybe some right handed throws on putts or close approaches.  But after slowly going farther and farther back with my right handed backhands, I decided to try out a right handed drive.  Success!  No dislocation! I threw about 6 drives righty with no problems.  So I might be back on the disc golf circuit.  I’m still a little bit hesitant so I’m throwing drives at 75%.  I think that’s enough for now.  My shoulder feels a little sore today, but it’s mostly a good sore.  The worst thing that could happen is I dislocate again and have the surgery I was planning on happening any ways.

Ok, who wants to tear up the disc golf courses with me?

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#18 A Long Way Down

Nothing feels better than when you read a book about 4 people contemplating suicide and you realize you’ve got more going for yourself than what they have.  A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (2nd book by him in my reading goal.  2 more coming along shortly).  I really very much enjoyed it.  It’s just mundane life and how we all get through it.  Making things happen in order to make it all seem worth while.  Yup.  So on to the next one.  A tree book.  It’s only a tree book because it is due so soon!

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Sprouts

Lots of broccoli, not so much everything else

We’ve got loads of sprouts here in Bend in my grow room!  I know that you all have been patiently waiting to hear whether anything has germinated yet.  The answer is definitely yes.  I’ve got a full tray of broccoli plants growing.  They are all looking quite good.  Lettuce has about 75% germination rate so far and hopefully the rest of it will be coming up in the next few days.  As for the peppers, onions and tomatoes:  nada.  Well, I was worried about this as it is probably only around 55 degrees in my basement and these three need a higher temperature (like 70-90 degrees.  Where is it that warm in the spring to have that happen?) to germinate.  So the grow operation is going to be moved upstairs for a while (although our thermostat doesn’t even get up to 70 degrees) until these little babes can get a start at life.  I hope at this point I haven’t rotted out the seeds as they have been sitting in water for the last 7 days.  We’ll hope for the best.

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#17 High Fidelity

My goal was not to finish High Fidelity today, but it happened any ways.  Luckily for me I ended up checking out 2 Nick Hornby books from the library today because I knew just one wasn’t going to be enough.  High Fidelity was great.  A good look into the complexities of a relationship.  Something I think most of us can relate to.  It’s just what I needed.  Guess I’ll start the other one before I nod off to sleepland.  Good night!

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Grow Room

Nice reflection

I would like to start out today with telling you all that I am sitting outside on my front porch typing this up.  The air is a little nippy but there’s hardly any wind.  The sun is shining and I’m happy spring is just a couple weeks off now.  It’s hovering around 50 degrees at the moment.  These first few warm days of the year certainly are magical.  Let’s hope this spring it’s warm and sunny and not as rainy like it has been the last 2 years.

Ok, so that title grow room title for this entry is a little misleading.  It should really be in quotations.  “Grow Room.”  There.  That’s better.  Actually more accurately “Grow Basement.”  And further: “Bella’s crate with 3 flats on it and a 4

"grow room"

foot fluorescent light hanging closely over head.”  I don’t want you all to get any ideas that I’m growing pot in the basement or anything like that (drugs are bad, kids), though I would probably be good at it with my green thumb and all.

Any ways, my “I-don’t-really-like-growing-out-in-the-cold-when-I’m-a-seedling” vegetables are happily growing (I hope) in my basement.  Thursday?  Yeah, Thursday the 4th I got all the seeds in their temporary home.  Most of the seeds were so teeny tiny! It’s crazy to think plants (well, I guess animals too) start off as such little bits of life.  Let me see if I can remember all that I planted:  broccoli, onions, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce.

Teensy broccoli seeds

Yum.  With a little luck I’ll see a couple of sprouts sometime this next week.   The seedlings will have to stay indoors anywhere from 4-10 weeks depending on the plant.  The cold nights and low humidity of Central Oregon make less than ideal growing conditions outdoors.  That’s why we have to start so much indoors.  Actually, maybe I’m wrong and you have to start plants indoors from seeds in most locations.

I’m super excited about my “grow room” and would be happy to show it to any one who wants to come check it out.  Tera almost fell over when she saw it.  Yeah, it’s that impressive.  She was probably more impressed about me doing something with my time besides facebooking.  I hope to get a pretty good grow rate out of the plants.  I’ll post some more pictures once things start growing.

I’m going to go inside now and get my book and do some outdoor leisure reading.  Sounds nice doesn’t it?  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Seeds in their new homes

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#16 Official Book Club Selection

Let me start off by saying I love Kathy Griffin.  I’ve loved her work for quite a few years.  Although I haven’t yet seen her stand up act, I religiously watch My Life on the D-List.  I was quite ecstatic when sista Kris sent me her copy of Official Book Club Selection.  My eyes were starting to cross from reading too many non-fiction books.  This book is exactly what I needed.  Funny, irrelevant at times, serious at times and an easy read.  It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud when readings and I did it many times while reading this.  I love you Kathy.  Now back to some more non-fiction, but this one should be more story than cold hard scientific fact.

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