Saturday, July 30, 2011

Notes for a Fine Saturday. . .

I’ll try to do some catching up here today!

I was up early this sunny morning and opened windows to let in cool air before the heat of the day arrived. I turned on some soft music and immediately turned it back off. I knew that today was to be another quiet day. So, I padded barefoot around the house in the silence. The cool wood floor felt nice beneath my feet, and, again, I thanked God for this house with all of its windows and the wood floors.

You know what else I’m thankful for? I feel like the most-loved woman in the world! God has blessed me with a wonderful, extended family and so many friends and caring people. I cannot tell you how many nice letters and surprises I’ve had in recent days, weeks, months and even years, but this past week, I’ve been inundated by goodness. I think it’s God’s way of saying, “Hang in there. I’m looking out for you. I love you.” Do you know how much human love and thoughtfulness makes one feel God’s own love? So, when you feel prompted to send a note to someone, do it. They will appreciate it so very much.

Anyway, I puttered around the house and prayed. Put away some books and papers. Made myself a berry-banana-coconut water smoothie. And planted myself at the table to read my Bible. For awhile I’ve been focused on Hebrews 11 and 12, and this week the chapters became particularly important to me. I added the whole book of I Peter to my reading this morning.

I have an old hymnal from the church where I grew up. The wife of the pastor who led the church from the time I was in second grade (she’s my mom’s best friend) gave me this hymnal to keep. I open it and sing away (or at least “make a joyful noise”):

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart—
Nought be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night—
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light. . .

By mid-morning, I was closing windows, and before long, out came my nifty-thrifty fan, where it was put to work in my kitchen. I brewed some coffee in the press (I should have made the coffee earlier and drunk the cold smoothie when it got warm!), plopped onto the orange chair at the table, and sat at the computer to type out some words to post on my blog (to keep for myself forever and to share with you wonderful, really nice people who read here).

We did go berry picking last week, and I promised to put up some photos, so I’ll do that, but I still don’t have Aaron’s photos opened on my computer because he shoots in “raw” (whatever that is—I shoot in auto and point and click away really fast; not much artistry or technique in my photography!), and my computer can’t open them (yet).  I did grab Aaron’s camera before we left the fields, set it on “auto,” and shot just three or four shots. They look washed out, so, clearly I should have enabled or disabled some setting before snapping the photos. Still, that’s all I have for berry picking for now, so I’ll add them here anyway.

Eight blueberry pickers gathered and climbed into my sister’s van, and we drove up the pretty McKenzie River route to the farm. Once there, we strapped on our blueberry picking harnesses and buckets and began to explore the fields. We discovered that we had arrived just a wee bit early in the season for really good picking (grey, cool weather has made for a late berry season). But there we were at the farm, so we resolved to pick half a bucket of blueberries each before we left. I didn’t mind. It’s so pretty on that berry farm along the river, and we were outside in the sunshine and fresh air! We’ll go back again once or twice this season to pick more berries.

I think I ate as many blueberries as I put in my bucket, and so did my sister, who said, “Well, we’ve certainly gotten more than our quota of antioxidants today!” (Or something like that.) Before we left the farm, there were homemade blueberry popsicles for all, bought at the little funky-cute-hippie farm store.

Today is Saturday, but I’m not going to the farmers’ market because I’ve still got plenty of food in my fridge, and I don’t want to waste anything. Not much that would excite the vast majority of eaters has been coming out of my kitchen, and my eating was pretty light these past few days, anyway, but I did eat. For the past two weeks, my diet has been really clean: lots of “raw” foods, lots of vegetables, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, green lemonade or smoothies. (I rarely eat sugar, dairy, or meat anyway.) I’m also walking every day (or doing my “aerobics” workout at home), and I’ve noticed something: I have an abundance of energy again.

Raw corn-portobello salad.

I’ve always been a high-energy, athletic person, but, lately, I had noticed that, while I could do a vigorous, hilly, long walk (powering up the hills), I was dragging myself a bit to the finish. Unusual. But, suddenly, my legs have a pretty incredible resurgence of energy and strength, and I know it is directly related to my diet because this has happened to me in the past. When I eat what most healthy eaters consume, I’ll gradually begin to feel just a slight bit of weakening and lessening of energy, and maybe even a bit of muscle-achiness, and then when I resume my “clean” diet, the over-the-top energy returns. It takes literally just a few days for this to happen, too, and this motivates me to stick to the way of eating that works best for me, even if I can’t eat what other people are eating.

I think the greens (green smoothies, green lemonade, lots of big salads) make a huge difference. Someone once called her green lemonade her “rocket fuel” and exclaimed over the energy she gained when she started drinking it, and I had to laugh because it seems to affect me that way, too. So, I’m drinking my rocket fuel as often as I can. Oh, and, Mary Beth, if you’re reading this, I said, “Cheers to Mary Beth!” a few times recently when I drank my green lemonade. It’s fun to know you’re drinking it, too.

Which brings me to another thing. In addition to eating lean, clean, and mean, I’m trying to eat as super-frugally as possible. I like to drink a berry smoothie every day, and I also like to have my green lemonade, but instead of always having them separately, I’ll often combine them into a green smoothie made with a banana, a chopped head of romaine, some dark greens, coconut water, the juice of half a lemon, and a small handful of berries (it doesn’t take many berries to provide a good dose of antioxidants, and I read that getting more than you need at once is wasted—it’s best to spread out the goodness). I’ll put all of this into my regular Osterizer blender (I have no Vitamix or Blend-tech), and run it til it’s really smooth. I don’t make this so much for delicious taste as to get what I need, but it actually tastes great to me, so I’m happy.

Oh, and I also read that eating the same dark, leafy greens day after day can eventually undermine certain aspects of your health, like your thyroid function, so it’s best not to overdo the dark greens (like eating three bunches in juice or smoothies), and they should also be rotated so you’re not eating the same thing all the time.

See the typewriter on the entryway table? I need to buy a new ribbon for it (you can get them online) because it’s my guest book! I told my niece that’s what it’s sitting there for, so one day she ripped a piece of paper from a spiral notebook, stuck it into the typewriter, and pounded out a note using that old, faded ribbon. She’s been here three times since, and each time she writes me a note. I love this! Who wouldn’t? Here’s the last note Nicky wrote me: “Susy, I love you—very much so! Come and visit me very soon. –Nicky”. 

Signing the guest book will be a requirement for all who enter my home (or at least strongly, arm-twistingly recommended!). If you stop by, you can just sign your name and date or write a note, add a quote or Bible verse, or say something profound or witty.

And now I’ll close for the day and get to work around here. I’m headed to the garage to do some cleaning and organizing. Aaron and I are going to make a trip or two to drop some things off at Goodwill today. And maybe I can recycle some of these moving boxes and packing paper.

I pray you will have a lovely, blessed day!


  1. Your post today is so timely. I am seriously trying to kick the sugar habit. I truly believe I am addicted! I am a vegetarian and have to eat gluten free, so when I am in a bind, I depend upon sugar to give me a pick me up. My trouble times are afternoons. I become exhausted by 2 or 3 o'clock. It seems like everywhere I go, an abundance of sugar is present. It is hard to get my kids on board of eating less sugar when all their friends basically eat what they want. Any advice is appreciated!

  2. I'd love to type something in your guest book. I'd probably say how refreshing it is to be here. I need to emulate your regime I think. I'm slowing down a little and resorting to carbs for a lift.

  3. Hi Susan! I've been enjoying your posts so much lately. It is fun to read about the life of someone who lives in the opposite corner of this diverse country of ours...and for me to accept the differences without envy.

    LOVE the guest book. If I can find a used working manual typewriter (I'll get my daughter to thrift store hunt for me), I am so going to steal this idea from you. I live on acreage in the middle of a dead-end road. It's not been common for me to have visitors, but a certain disability has homebound me for a season and suddenly I have visitors. The "guest book" would bring me much encouragement.

  4. Susan, a real question (hope it's not TMI for your beautiful blog :)...whenever I increase "raw" consumption I have soooo much bloating and awful you have any suggestions? Just keepin' it real :)

  5. Isn't your typewriter just the cutest thing? I almost bought one at a thrift shop but didn't think I'd be able to find tape for it. Online, huh? What a lovely idea....everyone's love and greetings tapped out....I can just hear it. :) And after all your healthy food talk, I'm totally getting back on the green smoothie train. To the store in the morning! (And, crack me up...keepin' it real! :)

  6. Mmm berry banana coconut water smoothies! I heart my green juice and feel healing from it. My Bible is marked up with my words and underlines just like yours! I love your blogs, your words are a blessing to me... Thank you :)

  7. Hi Susan! I left a comment on the post you deleted, so don't know if you read it. I used to read you at High Desert and was so thrilled to have found you here.

    Oh my goodness...I love this and so full of great info.
    I'm a green smoothie gal, and I didn't know that too much of a good thing isn't so good. Thanks for sharing that!
    I LOVE your guestbook unique and so fits the style of your enchanting new home.
    It's always
    so much fun to take a peek inside your life! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I have an old Hymnal from the church my parents were married in, and I love to just sit down and sing through it. Be Thou My Vision is one of my favorites. You have inspired me to drag out my juicer and start using it again-the green lemonade sounds delicious, and just right for a warm summer afternoon!

  9. To make your kefir, do you use raw milk or store milk? We drink both around here it just depends on if I'm closer to the dairy or the grocery store when we need milk. We use whole milk. That's what we would use for the kefir correct?

  10. Oops. I never replied to these comments. But thanks to all (who will almost certainly not see this response!).

    Jenny, I haven't made kefir for awhile, but I want to get my hands on some raw milk so that I can. If I use dairy, I only use cultured dairy, and preferably this is made from raw milk. And yes, whole. I love this, and it's so easy! :-)