Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cabin Fever

For most of the winter I've been in hibernation, hoping and waiting on any cooperative window of  opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, the most obnoxious weather has fallen on Toby's off days. I feel like I'm going a bit stir crazy. Other than our usual morning (frigid) dog walks, I've been hiding out underneath a blanket on the sofa....not my usual preferred activity, but the only one I feel I have a choice in doing considering the circumstances. I've tried to make use of my inactivity and have at least got some crocheting done.

Determined to make the most use of my time indoors, I've also made an extensive list of new areas I would like to explore and some I would like to re-explore.

Even though the weather was decent for an outdoor hike today, it has been wet/rainy so I chose one with a paved trail, The Gilleland Creek Trail - West

Thanks to my friend Angela for posting it on her blog, I probably would have never known about it.

It was a decent trail and honestly, it was like heaven to get outdoors and get some exercise....








There's a small farm nestled against the trail...




The way these bright yellow leaves contrasted against the grey pavement caught my eye...





Surprisingly, considering the weather lately, there were a ton of mosquitoes in this particular area, most likely from the stagnant areas of the creek. I'm sure the people that will be moving into these nice new expensive homes they are building up against it are going to love that...








It was a nice walk. After our walk we rewarded ourselves with something more unhealthy. Life's all about balance, right? Plus, it was Valentine's Day, and even though we don't celebrate Valentine's Day, we used it as an excuse....



Even though the sunsets have been few and far between, there have been a couple of picture worthy shots...


One evening, Skye recorded this one from her bedroom window and sent it to me...


Also, Skye has been working on her art lately. She's definitely got the talent...


I hope as spring moves closer, I will be more active on my blog.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Stickwork

January has brought me a severe lack of motivation for doing much of anything but stay coiled up on my sofa underneath a blanket binge watching Netflix. I'm not sure if it's the cold that has managed to seep into my bones (I can't seem to get warm) or the fact that every time I venture outdoors I end up with an urge to claw my eyeballs out (allergens).

Yesterday Toby suggested we go check out the new STICKWORK art installation at Pease Park.

It was a pretty interesting structure and it smelled like maple syrup....



We also took a little hike on the trail. There was some moss dangling from the trees. I had not ever seen this type of moss in the Austin area before. It made me feel nostalgic for Alabama....


There were two men riding around on these hover board type things with lights on them and Go Pro cameras. I'm sure there's a technical name for all this, but I'm not the techie type....


The portion of the trail we walked on there wasn't too much to look at....





It was nice to get outdoors and enjoy the sun.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Overlook

Last Monday, Skye got an urge to get outdoors in nature, and asked me if I would go with her to the Zilker Nature Preserve.

Last time we were here was a few years ago in November, 2014.

I'm pretty sure if I were to compare the skyline pics from then to now, you could see the difference in the growth of the city...





Skye also found the old geocache they had found from back in 2014. I was surprised it was still there and intact. There was a different log though. Someone had even left a couple of dollars in it it too....which we didn't take because we didn't have anything to replace it with...




After our hike to the top of the lookout, we headed to Whole Foods to grab some items and eat lunch. It was a nice day to be outdoors.

There was also a beautiful sunset to end the day..






Tuesday, January 16, 2018

An Apple A Day

Me and my friend Angela like to share ideas. Even though we have different ways of eating, we both share in the love of a good smoothie.

She was recently interested in what I put in my smoothies so, because I consider my smoothie an important part of my day, I figured I would just share it here.

Let me start off by saying I don't make my smoothies to taste good, although I've been making them so long I can make one taste pretty palatable. I make them as a way to get in all the super foods I can into one day. I like to call my daily smoothie, my daily medication. I also have an aversion to the medical industry which fuels my personal health responsibility.

I would like to note that it must work, because me nor Toby have been sick with any colds or viruses since the beginning of our smoothie days, which was around 5 years ago....knock on wood.

I see so many people my age with aches, ailments, chronic sickness or disease, obesity and just plain decrepit. I know as I age I look older, but I certainly don't want to feel old. I attribute my good health and energy to my daily smoothie, and of course, a healthy eating lifestyle and daily exercise.

Anyway, on with the smoothie.

First, I keep most of my ingredients frozen. I will only freeze my greens if they're starting to limp in the fridge. I don't complicate freezing greens. I wash and drain them, then grab a handful and stuff them into a baggie and into the freezer.


Things I keep frozen for my smoothies include: All and any fruits, veggies (broccoli, celery, cucumber, etc.), turmeric, avocado, ginger, and lemon slices. I'm never opposed to adding anything out of the ordinary to it either, I've been known to throw in some cabbage and zucchini.

I buy my turmeric and ginger fresh, usually from Whole Foods because that's the only place I can find it fresh in my area.

When I get them home I wash and chop into small pieces...about 1/4 of an inch. I don't know why, but I peel the ginger, but not the turmeric. Be careful with the ginger though, a little ginger will go a long way and ginger can taste really overpowering if you put too much in there.

I also cut my lemon up into slivered halves, skin on. Be careful of too much skin though, as it will make your smoothie bitter.

I quarter my avocados and freeze them. I cut up my celery into 3 to 4 inch stalks and freeze. Broccoli is just washed and thrown into a baggie. I've also been known to buy frozen broccoli in a pinch. I also save and freeze the chunky stalks of the broccoli for smoothies. Cucumbers are just sliced up and frozen.

One hint, if you don't want your cucumbers, lemon slices, ginger or turmeric to be all stuck together I'd recommend flash freezing it first.

Also, if you're including oranges in your smoothie, I found that if you don't drink it right away, it has a really bitter flavor to it, most likely from the pith. Toby doesn't seem to notice, but it's disgusting to me.

Okay, on to the preparation of the smoothie itself. I make my smoothies for two. I really don't have any actual recipe, I just eyeball it.

First, a handful of greens. Today it was collards. A lemon slice, a piece of turmeric, a hunk of broccoli stalk ( I also use the floweret, just not in this one), and celery....


Then a half slice of banana, and a quarter piece of avocado...


Then a whole kiwi, a handful of pineapple, and a few grapes....

 

Then about a tablespoon of unsweetened coconut flakes (mine are organic from Walmart) 3 or 4 Brazilian nuts, and a tablespoon or two of a combo of chia and flax seeds....


Then I add about 5 cubes of ice ( I like my smoothie very cold) and about 2 cups of water and whiz it up....


Ta da...ready to drink. I like to drink mine immediately so I can get the most out of it's nutrients, but Toby saves his for an "afternoon snack" at work...


As you can see, because I eyeball everything, some days I get more than what I need and others I'm off a bit.

Fruits I use the most are pears, strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, grapes, and blueberries. I will buy others if they're in season, and I do use more oranges during the winter months for vitamin C.

Oh!, and I will sometimes use parsley or cilantro if I have it on hand. If you're not a fan of cilantro I would definitely use it sparingly, and even though I like cilantro I have to pair it with certain fruits....usually apples, to mask it's strong flavor.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hippity Hop

I don't know why I called the name of this post, Hippity Hop. It was just the first thing that came to my mind, so I just went with it.

Not too much has gone on the first half of the new year. Toby and I did celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. I always like to mentally note that it's really one more year than what we tell everyone because we "lived in sin" for a year before we actually wed, so in my mind we've been married 19 years.


As with most special occasions, we didn't make a big deal out of our anniversary. We ended up meeting up with a couple we've been socializing with on occasion at THE OWL in Elgin.

We had a good time. We had just missed the filming of a super bowl commercial with the Clydesdale horses. The bartender showed us a video of it. I didn't really care about the filming, but I would have loved to look at the horses. One of the bar guests, said they were still around, just up the street. If I had been by myself, I would have gone in search of them, but I really didn't want to embarrass Toby buy dragging our dinner companions to look for horses.

I will be watching the Superbowl this year, just so I can see downtown Elgin in a commercial.

Later on in the week, we had a date to meet up with some friends at the Domain. I was really looking forward to our get together because I had not seen them in a long while. Unfortunately, they had been battling winter colds and ended up not making it.

Jordan was the only one that ended up making it, so it was nice to get to see and talk to her. Here are some pics of us at the Domain....


Testing out the Tesla....


The weather has been really cold this year, so we haven't been doing too much venturing outdoors other than our morning walks. Toby and I did go downtown to walk one day last week. We like to walk downtown because it's the most convenient area for us, and we get a variety of walks....lake loop, greenbelt, urban walk, etc. Just whatever we get in the mood for, we can find it downtown.

 


 
 If I had my rathers, I'd rather hibernate during the winter, but that's not they way it works for humans.