Friday, June 4, 2010

Prune juice popsicles and kale smoothies

Well guys, it's time for me to try to give blood again. As most of you know, I have only ever succeeded giving blood once. Once -- out of about six tries! For the last year or so, the reason for failures has been that my iron level is too low. (The one time I did succeed was just a few weeks after returning from Yellowstone. My red blood cells had multiplied at the higher altitude!! --and even that time, I guess I only partially succeeded because I took a 3 hour nap after practically fainting.)

It's actually really disheartening to go in with high hopes of helping someone out and getting a free t-shirt, only to be told your body is a failure at absorbing iron.
So, when I walked into work the first day and saw this sign glaring at me, I knew it was time to do something. Unfortunately... I didn't start doing something until yesterday, and the blood drive is Tuesday. We shall see.

But after a little research, I think I have a good plan for the next 4 days. Of course I will be taking a daily iron vitamin, but I also read that drinking green smoothies (kale + banana) does prune juice and quinoa (a type of grain) and blackstrap molasses. Isn't that fascinating? Sure, a diet of prune juice popsicles and kale smoothies might make the average person throw up, but I think it'll be just fine!

Furthermore, on my shopping trip to Kroger, I found three things I can honestly say I have never bought before. That is always exciting.
The guy who helped me find kale and quinoa (Would it be with the oatmeal on the hot cereal aisle? or with the flour or the couscous? ...the answer: none of the above. Natural foods section. It makes sense.) was really great! When I told him I was looking for kale, he sort of gave me a weird look and asked why I would be wanting that. "Well... I read that you can make smoothies with it..." I replied, and he in turn told me his favorite kale smoothie recipe! Hooray!

Tomorrow I will try drinking spinachy greens and eating a homemade popsicle made of prune juice. It's going to be an interesting day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I haven't given you a picture post since Tuesday (yikes!), so I decided there is no time like the present. Also, because tomorrow is Memorial Day and I'm sure I'll be taking some pictures then, I better not get behind!

This is a little special something that came in the mail Wednesday. My family will attest to the fact that for hours after opening the package, I was in a state of pure giddiness.
In the thrilling package were the dishes I bought on eBay (circa 1970)!! And they are even cooler than I imagined... no chips or cracks, and they've maintained their bright colors. I just get so excited when I think about the home-cooked food we'll be eating from these dishes next year!

Thursday night was Vicksburg High School's graduation.
Oh boy.
One of these days I'll have to do a post about Vicksburg High, but this picture will have to suffice for now. Does it look like these folks are tailgating (minus the food and rotel dip of course) under the scoreboard? That's what I thought!
As for graduation itself -- not too bad. It was fun to see some old friends and to hear the speeches, but the never-ending cheering and air horns (when everyone was supposed to hold applause till the end. Bah.) were a little over the top. I think they were having contests to see who could be loudest.
But I can't really blame most of them. Graduation is a really exciting event, and I'm sure that for some of these folks, the current graduates are among the first in their families.

Saturday at the Lake I snapped a picture of these cool, super-tall birdhouses. They seem to be the photogenic type.
The water-loving, heat-thriving mimosa tree is one of my favorites. Big, stringy, bright pink flowers remind me of swamps, alligators, and Mom's childhood Barbie-doll clothes.

As you may have noticed in previous posts, I generally can't resist taking black and white photos of solid white flowers. With such a contrast, the twists and folds of the petals really stand out.

Although our Saturday day-trip to the lake was great fun, I enjoyed getting to hang out with my good buddy Josh (whom I haven't seen since Dec. '08!) even more. Josh and I were bike-riding-in-the-Military-Park friends my junior year of high school, and we've got some fantastic memories. He lives in Minnesota now, but whenever he comes back to visit, we always make a pilgrimage to the Military Park for old times' sake.

In the circular, dome-topped Illinois monument, there are plaques covering the walls with names of soldiers from Illinois. It is rumored that the architecture of the gigantic monument prevents rain from coming inside (in spite of the huge hole at the top), but I think it just must not rain as much, because there is evident water damage on many of the plaques. Isn't this what happened to the Statue of Liberty?
And this is the big momma herself. She's a beauty. I love showing people the Military Park when they come to visit Vicksburg. I think it's one of our greatest assets because there is so much potential to run, walk, bike, take pictures, and just generally explore.

Finally, to keep you up-to-date with my summer reading goals, I have finished my second of ten books. Uncle Tom's Cabin was incredible, and I most definitely recommend it. I am now on to O Pioneers! by Willa Cather, and it's great too! (Jane, I'm sure you'd read this one in a day. I'm 1/3 of the way through already.) Last summer, I read Cather's My Antonia, and that was one of those books I ached to read aloud. Do you know the type? The words, though written as prose, were really almost poetry; they were born to be spoken. Sometimes when I was off by myself, I would whisper a passage or two just so I could hear the sentences.

Oh, I am thankful for the joys God gives us in things we need -- the written word, for instance.