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Archive for the ‘Raves’ Category

How did two months pass without a blog post? Must have been that pre-Christmas/Christmas/post-Christmas thing. Whatever the case, here we go. BTW – Happy New Decade!

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For those of you familiar with the Weight Watchers eating plan, you’ll know what I mean when I talk about my daily points. For those of you who are not familiar with WW, basically described, your new eating plan is based on a daily point allotment which is assigned by your weight at the beginning of the program. As you lose weight, your point allotment goes down. My current allotment is 18 points per day. (Which is also the minimum amount that it will ever be. Thankfully!!!)

In addition to your daily point allotment, you have a certain number of weekly points that you may use at any given time. For instance, when you NEED those french fries and you’re out of points. Tonight, I was heading into dinner with 5 points remaining. Instead of one of the WW meals (many are very good!) which normally contain from 4-6 points, I opted for stir fry veggies. I would normally like to use fresh veggies, but I was in a bit of a hurry and decided to use a package of frozen. Upon checking the content of calories, fat, and fiber, I learned that one serving of the stir-fry veggies contained (here comes the good part) ZERO POINTS.   We WW people LOVE those ZERO POINT items. I especially love them when I’m craving veggies. I grabbed the wok, smeared some olive oil around in it, let it heat & then dumped in the veggies. Mmmm. Seven minutes later – Voilà!  There’s just something very satisfying about stirring veggies around in a wok with a big ole wooden spoon. The package of veggies contained a nice assortment: broccoli, sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, celery, water chestuts, onions and red peppers. And I just love the crunch those water chestnuts add. Yum.

Now understand this, another reason that I like the sound of ZERO points tonight, was that I wanted a glass of vino with dinner. And since it has 2 points per glass, I had to figure that into the equation. Since I wasn’t having any meat or other food, I doubled the veggie serving to 1.5 cups which = 1 point. Now add in the 2 point glass of Beringer White Zinfandel. For what it’s worth, I’m far from a wine geek and that might not be (probably isn’t)  the right wine for veggies, but it’s my very favorite wine. So there.

Now, if you’ve been paying attention and keeping track of the points, you know that I’ve had my veggies and vino and I still have 2 points left for the day. Just enough for yet another glass of vino OR popcorn!

And for the record, if you’re wondering, WW is a very healthy, slow way to lose weight and learn how to eat sensible portions and healthy foods. I heartily recommend it. I’m doing it with the online program and have never felt that I was on a diet. I’ve been on it (with a few ups & downs) for over a year and am over half way to my goal.

Now, a bit about the photos. They were taken with my handy, dandy iPhone & processed in a cool app called ‘Camerabag.’ If you’d like some different looks to process your photos, check it out. You can instantly convert a photo to one of several filters – including: Helga, Colorcross, Lolo, Magazine, Instant, 1974, Cinema, Mono, 1962, Fisheye and Infrared. These were processed with Lolo – instantly. Check it out. It wasn’t pricey. 1.99 I think.

Bon Appétit!

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Chalk it up to another coincidence? Today’s choice for my morning libations was a mug from  Dallas, TX, in the year of or near to 1999. Bob Dylan and Paul Simon (a rather unlikely combo) were in concert. Loved the mug – had to get one. It’s one of those comfy truck stop/greasy spoon mugs that just fits the hand & the drink doesn’t dribble down the side when you sip. bob dylan tea

So as I’m drinking my coffee/and later tea/ and bouncing around the internet….I come across a notation on Losanjealous that Bob Dylan & His Band are playing at The Palladium tonight & tomorrow night. Were I  in L.A. – I’d go see him again. And tickets are a paltry $56.50. Ouch, Bob. But I’m really glad he’s still doing tours. It was a great show in ’99 (even though I heard someone near us joking that they wondered if they’d have to prop him up) and I’m sure the current show is even better.

I came upon another slightly funny bit of information this morning on the Rolling Stone site…. In the same year, apparently the duo was fined for playing too long. Who knew… Go check it out.

And if you’re in L.A. – go check out Bob for me. Thanks.

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monarch migration 1During last week’s visit to Southwest Oklahoma, we were fortunate enough to observe a cloud of Monarchs that were stopping to rest in some small Willow trees along one of the canals at Hackberry Flat. This was the fourth such time I’ve been lucky enough to witness such a fantastic sight. Thousands of the gorgeous Monarchs swirling in and through the sky and trees…and finally settling into the trees for the night.

“Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. In North America they make massive southward migrations starting in August until the first frost. A northward migration takes place in the spring. The monarch is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south as the birds do on a regular basis. But no single individual makes the entire round trip.

Female monarchs deposit eggs for the next generation during these migrations. By the end of October, the population east of the Rocky Mountains migrates to the sanctuaries of the Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican states of Michoacán and México. The western population overwinters in various sites in central coastal and southern California, United States, notably in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz.

Monarch butterflies are poisonous or distasteful to birds because of milkweed poison stored by the caterpillar stage; their bright colors are warning colors. monarch migration 3During hibernation monarch butterflies sometimes suffer losses because hungry birds pick through them looking for the butterflies with the least amount of poison, but in the process killing those that they reject.” – Wikipedia

Here you’ll find even more information about the Monarch Butterfly – provided by the National Wildlife Refuge System. And as they say:

“The annual migration cycle of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Every year, millions of monarchs migrate thousands of miles from Canada and the United States to overwinter in the mountain peaks in the states of Mexico and Michoacán in Mexico. This magical journey, deemed an “endangered natural phenomenon,” is dependent on conservation of habitats in all three North American countries – United States, Canada, and Mexico.”

The National Wildlife Refuge system may call it a natural phenomena – but I’m glad they went on to call it a ‘magical journey’  because I call it pure magic! And if you’ve ever seen it, you’ll just never forget it!

monarch migration 2



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Ah yes….finally my favorite season of the year is upon us! The mild days and cool nights of October soothe my soul. It’s time to scatter pumpkins around the flower beds, patio and porch.  And time to load the fire pit with pinon. ~ Gardening tasks are so much more inviting when you can smell the sweet aroma of pinon. The leaves have begun their annual descent and the flowering plants are giving us their last hurrah.

I took a photo tour of the flower gardens and terraces this morning with the Nikon D300 and oft ignored Nikkor 85mm f/1.4.  I have to start using that little jewel more! A photo tour of your gardens is a good way to record what was blooming and when. The exif information will tell you exactly when you took the shots, so it’s an easy way to keep gardening records. (Please always do a backup…because as we all know, it’s not IF your computer will die, but WHEN.) ;-)

Small Garden Area

Small Garden Area

We live on a forested ridge, so the flower beds and terraces get a lot of shade. I’m talking a LOT. One little annual that I’ve come to love is the Impatien. Not only do they show off in the shade all summer, but they re-seed. You can’t get a much more friendly flower than one that wants to come back next year. Right? :-) I’ve had Impatiens come up and bloom in colors that I never planted.  For instance, this year I planted only red and orange Impatiens. But my terraces have those colors – PLUS light and dark pinks – the light pink ones, I planted last year & some others came from my neighbor’s flower beds. In addition to bedding Impatiens, I have a pot of New Guinea Impatiens that have really done well & it is in deep shade.

This Gallery includes some shots of the impatiens and a few other plants that are still showing off on this second day of October, 2009.

So, what’s blooming in your fall garden? I’d love to hear your about your favorite flowers that are still showing off.

More fall gardening updates will follow. Stay tuned!

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