Growing & Guacamole

A good friend gave me some avocado Sunday and today they were fully ripe, perfect for guacamole. Not from scratch as you can see. Just because, Syd and I decided we would try growing some trees from the seeds. Here’s how we did it:

Grow An Avocado Tree!


We’ll see how they do. Thanks Vanessa!

Boot Straps & Brass Tacks

I’m getting a strong sense that it’s time for the tough (me?) to get going, to pull oneself up by the boot straps and get down to brass tacks. Time to get back on the front lines and keep going. Time to clean up this joint (house/studio) and back to the business of making art and living life. To both, follow the examples set for me and to be an example for those coming up, after me.

My mom was a strong believer in old sayings and recognized their significance. She often referred to them and passed them on. Both my mom and dad would be telling us now, ” don’t give up, keep going.” Their generation truly was the “great generation!” I miss them. I miss their encouragement.

I like to research these oldies but goodies, interesting & remarkably, they hold true:

Get down to brass tacks – Deal with basic realities, hard facts or details of immediate practical importance.

The origin perhaps refers to fabric shops a strip of metal, a yard in length, is ofter set along the edge of the corner so that material can easily be measured. An alternative to this used to be and sometimes still is, two brass nails set a certain distance apart. After a customer had selected a fabric, the sales assistant would suggest getting down to the brass tacks to work out the practical details of measurement and price.

Boot Straps –Improve your situation by your own efforts.

The origin of this descriptive phrase isn’t known. It refers of course to boots and their straps (laces) and to the imagined feat of a lifting oneself off the ground by pulling on one’s bootstraps. This impossible task is supposed to exemplify the achievement in getting out of a difficult situation by one’s own efforts.

The past few months have been tough going.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. – When a situation is difficult or dangerous, strong people work harder to resolve the problem. This saying relies on a difficult play on words; it could be rephrased word-for-word as: “When the situation becomes hard, strong people start working.”

Origin, this saying is attributed both to Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), father of the USA President John F. Kennedy, and to Norwegian-born American football player and coach Knute Rockne (1888-1931).

The Armor of God – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God,…   Eph. 6:10-11

New Leaf

All extra and even some regular activities, have come to a screeching halt. Yeah!

Following the completion on several commitments, resting today, feels great! Tuesday morning will be another story. I’m turning over a new leaf! I plan to make an all out effort to regain control of self, schedule and surroundings. Taking a little time to regroup, re-focus, reclaim, re-evaluate, regenerate, reflect and reform? Sounds re-asonable, right?

Turning Over A New Leaf idiom: Make a fresh start, change one’s conduct or attitude for the better, as in He promised the teacher he would turn over a new leaf and behave himself in class. This expression alludes to turning the page of a book to a new page. [Early 1500s]

Spring Snowballs

Is everyone enjoying the Spring weather, flowering trees, bushes and sprouting splendor? We have had a good stretch of incredible weather here in the Midwest making it very pleasant to continue with my healthy walking commitment. Dodging rain for the next few days, however.

I brought  my camera yesterday to capture my neighbors snowball bushes. I’m guessing that they are the common variety and not yet full grown which, according to the site listed below is 8 to 12 feet. These bring to mind another memory, of visits to my grandma’s garden. She had a gigantic snowball bush, the largest I’ve ever seen, but of course, I was just a small girl so maybe it only seemed that way.

About the common snowball bush : The Common Snowball Bush, Viburnum opulus, also called the European Cranberry bush produces white flowers in late spring. It is a deciduous thicket-forming Old World shrub. In the fall, the leaves turn a wonderful burgundy reddish-purple. About the same time, the bright red, attractive berries ripen, and persist on the plant throughout the winter. Birds, particularly Cedar Waxwings, are very fond of the berries, and can often be found snacking during the winter. Have a snowball fight in June! Kids and adults alike love this rounded plant with masses of flowers. Grows best in full sun to partial shade. Bushes & Shrubs

Afternoon Tea

Turning over a new leaf regarding health is ongoing. I’ve been faithfully replacing my afternoon pot of coffee (which I love) in exchange for one or two cups of green tea. Taking a step back from the stress causers of the day to focus on relaxing, has been a good daily routine. The hard part, taking the last sip of the restricted, morning coffee.

Let’s Talk Turkey

Hopefully no one is getting tired of my focus on the needed nutrients for controlling blood pressure. In my quest to find preferred methods of doing so, I am enjoying discoveries about food. Take Potassium, the previously mentioned report recommends a daily allowance of 4,700 milligrams. Sounded like a good place to start so, one last turkey baking for hours, was a good way to obtain more of this necessary nutrient and knock the chill off during the transitional weather.

Bird Bath
Buttered Bird
Bountiful Basted Bird
Early Bird

My only artful turkey I’m afraid is this early attempt, shown below, at a harvest greeting card.

Following turkey and taxes today, it’s back to the drawing board once again!

Healthy Color

Well, I made it to the grocery store and returned with the healthy stuff. Taking the time to read the labels of everything I was buying, took additional time. I think I may have set a record for the longest grocery shopping experience.

The report I mentioned on Monday’s post was lengthy and the section on supplements is going to take more time to investigate. What I’ve read so far makes a lot of sense and I think it was a worth while purchase.

Some of the report included the commonly known healthy choices that we should already be making. However it also offers much information on nutrients, exercise, sleep, stress, meditation (I’ll call prayer), etc., some of which I was not aware, such as sea salt.

Who knew, sea salt, make the switch.

So, bringing home the colorful food is only the beginning to this natural approach of controlling blood pressure and a new way of living.

These are two of my healthiest pieces of art, both from my “Home Grown” collection.

Come Up-ins

Regarding my recent post on struggling to achieve a healthy balance, it has become apparent that I must take the issue a bit more seriously. After the holiday’s festivities and extending the fairly steady diet of treats, pie, cookies, cakes & candy, I am getting my just desserts! My come up-ins! Yep, the party’s over. I’ve officially joined the 65 million Americans (American Heart Association) with high blood pressure and the condition definitely has my full attention.

A Yummy Batch of Oatmeal Cookies

So, the plan is to try the natural approach. Over the weekend a search turned up this report “High Blood Pressure Remedy Report” so, I’m reading up and going grocery shopping for the healthy stuff.

Although these were yummy cookies , the only healthy ingredient was oatmeal.

Balance

Still struggling to achieve that elusive “healthy balance” of all that we try to fit into our busy lives. Seems to be an ongoing goal. Walking is the one healthy activity that has worked for my schedule or is most consistent, although, I’ve even abandoned that for many months. Today, will be three days of WALKING in a row! Next on my list for 2010, strengthening exercise, eating right and cutting down on caffeine to name a few.

Healthy Balance
Walking
Weight Training
No More Cookies
Cut Caffeine