Category Archives: Food

HOT Rally–A Cold Affair

small_imageBack in October I sent in the required information for participating in the Heart of Texas Recumbent Tricycle Rally in Austin, TX at the end of February 2015, an event sponsored by Austin’s Easy Street Recumbents. I had great anticipation of a wonderful time riding my recumbent trike and meeting other trike riders.

I’ve had the good fortune to find a great friend and travel companion who also has a recumbent trike. He and I headed to Austin earlier this week, and after two full days of driving we arrived in the Austin area with 35 degree weather that has lasted until today. No sun, drizzle, wind and icy streets – Blech!!! And therefore no riding to speak of.

021On Friday, after registering we ventured to the Veloway Park in Austin to ride the 3.13 circuit in these weather conditions. Once around the path was all that I was interested in doing, mostly because I’d come so far to ride, I just HAD to. In Tucson I ride in a group that rides together on Saturdays, led by a fellow who won’t lead a ride unless the temperature is greater than, or equal to 59 degrees. I like his style!

The rally continued on Saturday with some class time, learning about tricycle maintenance and repairs, followed by picture-taking of the group and individuals, some lunch, and a raffle (I bought $20 worth of tickets, but was unrewarded for that, except for the charity my contribution went to.) My friend won heel straps for his feet to keep them on the trike pedals. Some folks had their photos taken in this side-by-side recumbent, “Red Bull”, complete with steer-head hats. Clever and funny – we didn’t do that!

002CroppedRides that had been planned for today were re-scheduled for yesterday; however, the weather was not conducive to a safe ride, so they were cancelled. Not wishing to socialize the rest of the day, we left. Today, the trike rodeo that was planned for yesterday will take place, in hopefully better weather. We will not be participating, and will leave the area to visit some folks east of Austin for a few days before heading back to Tucson.

So much for lemons…

Now comes the lemonade part.

My friend likes to visit unusual places and some of them are found from the TV show, “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives”. One such place is the Counter Café near downtown Austin, a very small breakfast and lunch restaurant with a counter and a wall for several small tables for two. It was packed. I had a grilled pimiento cheese sandwich and my friend had scrambled eggs with crab cakes. Yum on both accounts! We spoke with the restaurant owner, Nick, who was born and raised in Tucson and who attended the University of Arizona. He was at hand when Guy Fierri, the show’s host, did a taste test of the café’s kitchen. We hope to return in a few months. (http://countercafe.com/)

As we were leaving the restaurant’s very tight parking area we discovered a retaining wall for one of the nearby residences. It was a very eclectic and humorous offering, as you can see in these photos. A nice surprise!

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counter_logoflatblack-01We also have been parked in a camping spot at McKinney Falls State Park, about 12 miles from the rally site. It’s a beautiful state park, with large trees and well-managed sites. Today we walked to the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls. I took several photos, and found a surprise in one of them! See below.

Tomorrow we head farther east to visit some of my friend’s family and maybe find some warmer weather. We’ll be back in Tucson by week’s end.

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Looking more closely into the hole…028cropped

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Re-creation

Well…

How to put into words what has been taking place over the last month…It’s not that easy.

The day before Mother’s Day I walked into the headquarters of my Congressional District Representative, Raul Grijalva, to ‘walk’ for signatures to get Richard Carmona’s name on the Arizona ballot for senator.  As I had never done anything like this before I requested a walking partner.  And, going with the flow, my life has taken a new direction – to “I Know Not Where”.

My partner was a tall, handsome, funny man, and we hit it off from the beginning.  He is interested in plants and growing things experimentally, and re-using and adapting what is already provided into other useful items.  So I’ve been spending some of my time hanging out to see what he is creating, and trying my hand at some things myself.

Most recently, he initiated a relationship with a hydroponic plant growing business (Eco Gro Hydroponics) near Mr. Grijalva’s headquarters.  Eco Gro Hydroponics is a store where one can buy the materials to create a hydroponic growing system that includes fish and plants, to supplement a family’s food needs.  They also sell unusual and exotic plants.  The two young men who own/manage the store have shown interest in some of the ideas my friend has expressed.  While coming from different perspectives, the focus is growing food in a sustainable way.

So, here in photos are some of the ‘products’ made available this weekend, highlighting creative ways of growing vegetables and flowers.

While they don’t show up well in the photos, the large white buckets hold growing medium and plants that don’t usually do well in the hot, Tucson sun (tomatoes, peppers, mint, cilantro); however, because of the ‘ollas‘ inserted into the mix, water for the roots and cooling to the plants are provided to help them survive.

We had fun finding  unusual ‘adaptive use’ containers for the plants.

This one was sold…notice the small olla in the center.

Notice the photographer in the background…one of the Eco Gro guys.

There’s a cherry tomato seedling inside…an experiment.

The “Giraffe” bag

The Picnic Basket

Rooftop Garden

Thanks to Brendan and Ryan for their support of this fun venture! (www.ecogrohydro.com)

Food for Thought

This week I answered an invitation to blog about Food, by posting on Blog Action Day 2011, October 16, 2011, which happens to coincide with World Food Day, an observance endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1980.

There are so many avenues to take in a discussion about food, so I’m going to try to keep my comments focused on personal, local, and regional aspects, and try not to globalize too much.

If you haven’t thought about it much, you may not recognize that the deepest conditioning that we receive in life is through food.  From the time we are born and receive either our mother’s milk or formula, we are being taught about taking in nurturance for our bodies.  As we grow we learn to eat the foods that are presented to us at our daily meals.  These foods are cultural, perhaps from an ethnic tradition or region of the country we live in, or an area where our mother, the traditional meal preparer, came from.  We are taught what is good for us, or not so good for us.  As small children we don’t get to choose so much the kinds of foods we eat .  Later, when we learn about sugar and McDonald’s and are faced with school lunches that aren’t like what Mom makes, we begin to adjust our diets, for good or not.

I began eating at my mother’s breast.  What she ate, I ate.  As I grew and could tolerate more foods, I ate what the doctor and child experts said were the right foods to eat.  When I was five I developed asthma and my mother suspected that there was a connection to the 40% Bran Flakes I ate for breakfast.  As it turns out, I’m allergic to wheat.  For years I ate bread – LOVED bread, craved bread, made bread, and served bread – in all its forms (cakes, pies, cookies, etc.) – not realizing how I was harming the cells in my body.  And I bear feelings of guilt sometimes when I remember that my son began eating at his mother’s breast too, and she drank milk.  And years later I realized that he was allergic to it.  You know, “milk is good for you, you need three servings a day”, etc.

I passed onto my children the same ideas that I’d grown up with and followed the same “current thinking or science” about food and what is a healthy diet.  Now in retirement I’m still learning what is good for ME according to how I feel and what I feel about what I learn about food, and supplements.  There is no “One Size Fits All” diet for humans.

I’ve looked at the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, Diet for a Small Planet, The Body Type Diet, The Blood Type Diet, Your Last Diet (from the author of Potatoes, Not Prozac, about sugar addiction), and others.  They all have their valid points; however, what is right for ME?  Not all people are supposed to be vegetarians, regardless of their spiritual practices.  Not everyone is supposed to eat only raw foods.  It just gets ridiculous to see all the proselytizing that goes on about food.  It’s like religion, and politics – and it’s so confusing!

Our bodies are amazing!  MY body is amazing!  It does the very best it can regardless of the food I put into it.  If it’s the wrong kind of fuel, my body sputters and keeps on going, until it can’t anymore.  That’s when it breaks down and disease (dis-ease) begins.  Being in touch with my body, and considering what is good for it – not by what others say is good for it – helps me to be on the right track.  It’s also important that when I take in food, whatever it is, that I do it in a WAY that is right for me, so I can digest it in the way that is best for my body.

In the past year I have lost nearly 40 pounds.  I did it by changing what I eat., which means for me, no wheat and no dairy.  I eat in a manner that many might consider radical, unappetizing, boring, and just plain no fun.  But it works for me.  My blood work for cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and all the other measurements are in range for what is considered “normal”.  My blood pressure has been lowered 30 points, and I no longer have to take medication to keep it down.

Not everyone should eat as I do either.  I have had some advice about what and how to eat, which has helped me.  Each person, when he/she is born, has a way he/she is created to take in nourishment – not just food, but also things that nurture or nourish one’s well-being.   I have been following the information I have received for ME, and for me, it is working.

Food is personal and supports our lives so we can be whole and free, and not homogenized like milk.  Consider whether you eat something because everyone else says it’s good, or healthy for you.  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t.

Note:  For more information, see these links:

http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/food/index.html

http://blogactionday.org/

http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/ .

You might also enjoy seeing this short video from Jovian Archive:

http://www.jovianarchive.com/Media_Library/Videos/14/RaZen?itemId=201