Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Archive for August, 2014

Magic Dream Spray

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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.

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

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A bit more of Amy’s explanation:

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Me:

 

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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:

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Family … magical.

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

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A Waste of Time

From The Secret and Rhonda Byrne:

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Sunday Morning Quote (8/10/14)

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“Brakes break for a reason.”

— from the movie The Hundred Foot Journey

 

Okra! Okra! Gimme Mo Okra!

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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.

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— Encyclopedia Britannica  (Well, not the pictures.)

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

Just finished chopping this mess:

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And my gumbo from the other night:

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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

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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.

 

 

Five Friday Happy Bringers — 8/8/14

Oh gosh!  We folks are HOT in the Savannah of the GA (and not just in our looks).

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114?  Seriously?  Thermometers go that high?

Well, it’s Friday, and I  am Warmly Happy.  Here are a few reasons why.

1.  Attending last night’s On Stage at the Lucas Cabaret at the Lucas Theatre a few blocks from my place here in historic district Savannah.  The featured performers were good buddy Roger Moss and Kim Polote, both incredibly talented.

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Here I am walking to the theatre with Edward (beige hat) and Robert (brown hat), who is taking the selfie.  (I hate it on that extremely rare occasion when the people I am with are dressed more hiply–is that a word?–than I.  And please do not judge me too harshly for wearing shorts.  It had only cooled down to about 94.)

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Look what I saw:

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(I can’t quite decide if that’s cute or disgusting.)

Inside the darkened Lucas:

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Interestingly enough at these cabarets, the audience (limited to 125) sit on the stage looking out on the empty theatre.  The performers face you with their backs to the theatre seating.  Wait, am I  making a lick of sense?  No?  Okay, here’s a pic of a recent performance:

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And a bit from the Lucas website:  “Ever wondered what it would be like to be on the Lucas stage? We figured you may have. Well back in the spring of 2013, the staff of the Lucas came up with an idea. A simply wonderful, marvelous idea. Why not have a cabaret on stage? The audience would literally sit on stage, in a lounge type atmosphere, with the singers performing against the beautifully restored 1921 Lucas as the backdrop. It’s fun and entertaining. Amazing musicians and singers from around Savannah take the stage. There is such a wide variety of talent, which provides a totally different experience for each show.”

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Here I am with Roger.  Alright, maybe I forced that selfie.

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And here I am at intermission with friend Edward and pianist Eric Jones:

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A Great Evening.  Such beautiful music!

2.  Fresh vegetable soup.  (I know that piping hot soup doesn’t exactly go with 110 degree temps.  But SO good!  Nothing better than summer okra and tomatoes.)

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3.  Appreciating our local police. 

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4.  Grandson Daniel on sale at Pet Smart.

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5.  The beach so close to me.  (How can people live in Iowa?)

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Stay cool this weekend!  (Of course, I know you already are.)

 

 

 

Taking a Bite Out of Crime in Savannah (And Everywhere)

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Last night marked National Night Out in Savannah, and all over the U.S. (read a little about it here).  The idea is a community-police awareness-raising event, held the first Tuesday of August.  Night Out is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as crime prevention, drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts.

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I attended the event in my area of Savannah’s historic district.  As a people, a nation, and a community, we MUST get crime under control somehow.  And perhaps these kinds of awareness programs are a step in the right direction.

 

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(I sorta sneaked into the pic above.  Atlanta baseball cap.)

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Here I am with McGruff the Crime Dog:

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With fellow Washington Ward leader and buddy Amy Brock:

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With District 1’s  (my district in the historic district) Alderman Van Johnson:

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With good friend (and incredible socialite, recently returned from Paris, note the sassy scarf) Jamie Smith:

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With one of Savannah’s Finest:

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Crime/violence has no place in our lives.  Let’s work together to get rid of it in our communities, our cities, our movies, our music, our lives.

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6 + 3 = 9 But So Does 5 + 4

 

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(Terese Anderson Mansell)

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Let us Joyfully Coexist.

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