Monday, May 28, 2012

If the shoe fits

I was about to ask Cate and Nan for the upteenth time to clean out from under the bench in the kitchen, when I took a second look.  Just from looking at the different types of footwear I knew exactly what they had been up to.  Nan's old riding boots told me she had been to the farm today, while the stack of running shoes meant they had been out jogging that morning.  Flipflops mean its summer time and the rubber boots said that Nan had been to collect eggs from the chickens.  Glad I have an active family, but I do wish they were just a tad bit neater.


We do love to hike and walk.  It's one of the things we enjoy doing on the weekends and especially up at the lake in Canada.  So much to see, so much beauty in nature around us, so nice to stretch the legs.  In Paris we walked and walked, a great way to really see the city and to burn off the extra calories.  Even in our own neighborhood we live in such a lovely place for walks, we go every day. We usually see wild turkey, deer, Canada geese, the blue Heron, and of course sometimes other people and dogs.  All one needs is a sturdy pair of shoes.

                        Few people know how to take a walk.  

                           The qualifications are endurance,
                   plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for  nature,
  good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and                                                                                                           
                                                          nothing too much. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


It's been a few weeks and even a couple of months since I've been tweaking my diet.  And the good news is I have  no more leg or hip pain!  I feel energetic and happy.  I am able to live life to its fullest and continue to be active.  Hart and I are running three miles a day, amazing, because just this winter I thought I would never run again.  I love it!  Cate, Nan and I are doing yoga at least four times a week.  I find the stretching to be so important.  As far as my diet, I am still GF and now dairy free.  I am still working with the nightshade vegetable group.  I have had no potatoes or tomatoes yet.  I can tolerate a few peppers, which is nice.  Also sugar is out, for the most part.  Nan and I eat alike now.  I now know God was telling me years ago to switch to her diet, I just didn't listen or want to.  And I see the difficult path I've gone down because I didn't.  I am a slow learner at times. But it is totally worth denying myself certain foods, to be pain free and healthy.  I just wish I hadn't waited so long.

To celebrate our anniversary Hart and I went on a day trip to nearby Roanoke, Va.  We spent the day roaming the farmer's market downtown, browsing Black Dog Salvage, eating lunch out, just being together.  A nice time to connect and enjoy each other's company.  We actually spread out our anniversary celebration this year, not by design but it just happened that way.

Last Friday, the girls spent the night with their friends and Hart and I had the opportunity to have an early anniversary dinner.  We cooked crab legs, shrimp, sweet potato fries and artichokes.   I had not attempted whole artichokes before but they turned out well, although it was quite a process to prepare them and cook them and to even eat them!  But we did enjoy them.  Find a recipe from an old, reliable cookbook and follow it to the letter and you will have no problems with yours.  I even made the Hollandaise sauce, which was very good.

Interesting vegetable.

Reminds me of a rose.


So on our actual anniversary, which is May 21st, we had a lentils and rice.

Recipe from the Internet.

The figurine that sat atop our wedding cake 29 years ago.

Yummy dessert Nan made from coconut milk.... chocolate mousse.

Here is a tribute in an email I wrote for Hart and as a way to share my thoughts with my family.

  Today is my 29th wedding anniversary!  Wow-that sums it up!
 So many years, so much time, so much joy, work and hard times behind us.  But there are so many years, so much time, joy, work and hard times ahead of us as well.  I'm blessed by the past and looking forward to the future!  I have a wonderful husband and I am so thankful for him!
So much has changed in our lives--- grown married children, grandchildren, Hart working from home, my job, two kids at home, a different way of eating and cooking, etc.  Even what we are having tonight reflects the change--lentils and rice, when a few years ago it would have been steak and baked potatoes!  (Actually if I had steak in my freezer, it would be on the grill!).  But I will still get out the white tablecloth and my wedding couple figurine that sat on top of my wedding cake that my Aunt Doris made, we will eat with Cate and Nan, telling them stories of our wedding day and early life together.  How he proposed, how Frank fainted, the reception, our time at Kiawah, our Victorian apartment on Chestnut St, just the two of us for just a little over a year.  The fun we had, how hard our first year was, how we've grown and changed and become better people, better together.  How God has blessed us with health and  happiness and life to the fullest.  We will lift our glass of champagne as we toast  our 29 years of marriage.  My cup overflows!  
Thanks for celebrating with me by letting me share my thoughts with you
Love, Nancy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The miracle of life is so evident in the springtime I believe.  One day the world is still dark, brown, cold and then one morning it just appears to have switched canvases.  The trees have burst forth with green, the flowers pop out mysteriously from sleeping in frozen ground, the birds return, singing and rejoicing.

My volunteer magnolia tree.

The gardenia bush is loaded with buds this year.

The Victorian rose bush that my mother-in-law gave me was a little sprig just a few years ago.  It's bursting forth with pink!

The bees are enjoying all the blooms.

I'm impressed with all our apples, but a little anxious too, for the deer ate them ALL  last summer!

Speaking of birds, we have witnessed the miracle of baby chicks at our house....

Just two weeks ago on a Saturday as Hart went up to the chicken coop, he heard an extraordinary amount of frantic chirping.  Inside the coop huddled in one corner, all alone, was the smallest, fluffiest black chick.  He had somehow gotten on the other side of the nesting box and was not happy about it.  We knew the Blue Cochin was sitting on her eggs, plus the other Cochin's eggs and even some Rhode Island Red eggs. She was taking anyones eggs as her own.  And she was feisty if you tried to get them.  We rescued the chick and decided that we'd take all the eggs and incubate them on our own.  We didn't want anymore broody hens.  My sun room became the nesting spot and new home to the chick.  We set up our operation, turning the eggs as they sat under the light, misting them to keep the humidity right.  Imagine our surprise when two days later there was a crack in one of the eggs.  Slowly a wet, ugly little bird emerged.  This chick,once dry, was a lovely cream color.  Two days later it happened again.  Chick number three is tan with a stripe down his back.  So we have eight eggs left that we've candled and we pray the miracle will happen again.


The miracle.

Three in a row.


They all sleep under the stuffed chicken that Nan put in there.

Adorable black Cochin.

Pretty cream Cochin.

                                                                        The striped one.

More eggs to hatch.

One afternoon the girls and I walked the dogs down by the lake.  We saw the mother duck and her babies, the geese with their young'uns and the Blue Heron.  Such a gorgeous sight.

The next few nature photos are by Cate.

 By the lake.

Mother duck with her 9 babies.

We saw the blue heron land on shore.

The Canada geese love North Carolina.

Back at home...
Nan enjoys the spring weather, while doing her homework.

But not having her picture taken!