Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers — 8/15/14

ent3

I love these lazy, hazy crazy days of summer!  Here’s Nat King Cole singing about them.  Listen as you read the Happy Bringers:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lazy+crazy+hazy+days+of+summer&qpvt=lazy+crazy+hazy+days+of+summer&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=A45A00CE404625AAB6CBA45A00CE404625AAB6CB

1.  Friendly dogs coming up to me as I sit and read in Washington Square — “my square” here in Savannah’s historic district.

uQ2n59BTodIiIhDG.jpg

1Ogkik1U4uIhHNKv.jpg

ZgTnYS7KTmUQ7s1B.jpg

no3HgVK85mq7JBFt.png

2.  Going to the Meet Your Classmates and Teachers Social at Grandson Gabriel’s Pre-K class at Savannah Country Day.

XbJrTnOmuvLsqngz.jpg

fntYzcPEt9xwVY7p.jpg

CZR5GpAshwiojNYF.jpg

(My grandies call me Abu.  Read why here.)

3.  Making up a cool recipe the other night — Sautéed Collards with Red Beets and Onions.

tdHdpykS3SzUPkOT.jpg

UA8fnDv2ihZDYPHh.jpg

4.  The (frequent) sight and sound and smell of late afternoon heavy rain in Savannah.

CNLaTQ1rD1vatmW8.jpg

(Outside my living room window.)

v3tsE6IPhVsQ5BQS.jpg

5.  The sheer joy of being enthusiastic.

ent1

Here a wonderful article about that very subject:

Enthusiasm is the Key to Happiness

Have a gloriously enthusiastic weekend ahead!

ent2

 

 

Posted in Humor, The Joy and Wisdom of Children

Magic Dream Spray

txt1

Do other folks out there do what my family does?  All get iPhones and set up a little Family Group Messaging System?  Well, my two daughters Amy and Emily, along with Donna (even though divorced now, we remain the best-est of friends) have done just that.  And it’s such an incredibly efficient strategy for staying in touch, bothering each other constantly and having SO MUCH FUN!

The other night, daughter Amy (wife of Orte and mother of grandsons Daniel, 7 and Gabriel, 4) sent us this text.

nhJmBaUpsvs76KWG.png

I LOVE faith-stretching strategies such as that!  My response:

nQNbmWmVQT7yNWjv.png

cQn69SYB0INvpaPJ.png

A bit more of Amy’s explanation:

Q9AHuqLnyrR7RZ4G.png

Me:

 

2YPKXXMSeckY4TN1.png

End of discussion until a couple of days later when we received this text from Amy as she, Orte and the boys were driving down to Florida for the weekend:

HDStK2lRVcq08kQV.png

Family … magical.

Maybe that’s what family is … Magic Dream Spray.

fam4

fam3

fam2

Posted in Delicious Joy

Okra! Okra! Gimme Mo Okra!

okra2

Okra is BY FAR my favorite summer vegetable.  I grew up in north Georgia having to take a knife out to the garden nearly every evening, wearing a long-sleeved shirt in the summer heat, and cut the star-shaped veggie off its itchy stalks.  But, oh my goodness!  The taste!  After my fried okra plateful, and then the gumbo, I was life-long-hooked.

Okra:  Herbaceous, hairy, annual plant of the mallow family (Malvaceae). It is native to the tropics of the Eastern Hemisphere and is widely cultivated or for its edible fruit. The leaves are heart-shaped and three- to five-lobed; the flowers are yellow with a crimson centre. The fruit or pod, hairy at the base, is a tapering, 10-angled capsule, 10–25 cm (4–10 inches) in length (except in the dwarf varieties), that contains numerous oval, dark-coloured seeds. It may be prepared like asparagus, sauteed, or pickled, and it is also an ingredient in various stews and in the gumbos of the southern United States; the large amount of mucilage (gelatinous substance) it contains makes it useful as a thickener for broths and soups. In some countries the seeds are used as a substitute for coffee. The leaves and immature fruit long have been popular in the East for use in poultices to relieve pain.

Jw1S0FY8BS6rErgg.jpg

faVQ4pd4uOzFvjF4.jpg

— Encyclopedia Britannica  (Well, not the pictures.)

************

I LOVE chopping okra–the smell, the texture, the soul involved.

Just finished chopping this mess:

rtzJAm5yM2TDqUGi.jpg

DEMtPjgHPupliXe7.jpg

And my gumbo from the other night:

3P5ATYS8Z6bPKOYu.jpg

YzYFbJq7GIqNm8Uy.jpg

jEwlNvMyAlyeesV1.jpg

Just look at a few of the Health Benefits of MOKRA (my okra):

  • The pods are among the very low calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g, besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
  • The pods are one of the rich sources of mucilage substance that help in smooth peristalsis of digested food through the gut and ease constipation condition.
  • The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein. It is one of the vegetables with highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh pods are the good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during the pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring.
  • The gumbo pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C, providing about 36% of daily-recommended levels. Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protect the body from harmful free radicals.
  • The veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
  • The pods are an also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/okra.html

okra4

okra1

Good Saturday Evening to All!  Eat MOKRA!

Neal’s Ridiculously Simple Okra Gumbo:

One medium onion, a few cloves of garlic, some okra, a few vine-ripe tomatoes (emphasis: vine ripe)

Sautee your chopped onion in a tad of olive oil.  Add the chopped tomatoes and either a couple cups of vegetable broth (I make mine when I’m boiling corn or other vegs–don’t throw that nectar away!) or water.  Simmer a few minutes.  Then add the sliced-pretty okra.  But not too long.  You don’t want it all mushy.  10 mins is great.  Don’t add much salt-you want to taste the okra!

Savor.