Tag Archives: Y



Hoo-boy.  If there ever was a more voluntarily physically uncomfortable situation, I don’t know what it would be.  But then, I am fortunate, and sheltered by standards of the rest of the world.  I do know that this is a lifesaving medical test that I would not ignore any year.

That being said, I do put it off.  Walking to the Y, (see my last post) I see this message in the sidewalk.  There are others of the same ilk, but this is the one which I snapped.  I was reminded that it is time!


My insurance company requires me to have my appointment not a day earlier that one year ago, so I have to be precise in scheduling my visit, yet, I am reminded by several different means to make that darned appointment, and so I do.

Breast cancer is not a joke.  I know of two young women who are struggling through the chemotherapy before their double mastectomy.  I know of others who have been through that process, and are healing.  And I know of women that have healed, and then had to have the cancer show up a decade later.  You probably know these women, too.

It is not October, Breast Caner Month, but it is a reminder…make your appointment.  Have your Mammogram.  Be grateful for the science that created this test which can catch the disease and save lives.  It could be mine and it could be yours.  It’s not fun, but it’s important.


Fresh produce…


I have written about my love of Farmers’ Markets, and I do love a good one. Actually, I’ve never really been to a bad Farmers’ Market, now that I think about it. These days, though, I have a second love…The Produce Box.

The Produce Box is a company which delivers fresh produce right to my very own front door, every single week. How great is that? This is how it works: I signed up online, gave my credit card information, and every week on Friday, I get an email with the beautiful choice of a variety of boxes with clever names from which to select. I click the picture which identifies my choice, the company gives me until Sunday night to change my mind, charges my card on Monday, and on the upcoming Friday I find my box at the front door when I come home from the Y. If I don’t need the food, I check the “skip” box. If I am out of town for an extended period, I check a number of “skip” boxes.

I am just a one person household. I love nice, fresh, healthy food, but I don’t eat a lot. I usually pick the smallest type box, and I usually use all that comes to me by the following week. I follow the suggestion of The Produce Box, which advises putting a list on the ‘fridge and checking off the items when they are gone. I often use the recipes which come in my box, and I am trying different foods, different preparations, and eating seasonally fresh, nourishing dishes. It’s a good deal, all around.

Not only all of that, I am encouraging our local economy by helping the neighbor, who is paid for weekly delivery. I am helping the farmers who grow the food, and if you read my blog regularly or know me personally, you know how I feel about farmers. For some reason, I have little waste, and don’t toss as much as I do unused grocery produce. Almost best yet, I get to use all my nifty gadgets like my food processor, blender, slicer mandolin, and my chopper-upper to prepare my veggies.  This is a win, win, win all around.

Your area might have a similar program available. Check it out. It is beautiful.


Canning tomatoes…


I used to have a really large garden. One summer, I canned one hundred, yes, one hundred quarts of green beans. I dug the dirt. I planted those seeds.  I weeded around those plants, and I picked each of those beans. I snapped the ends off of every single one, and then I preserved them by pressure cooker in one hundred quart Ball jars. But that was just once, many years ago.

Tomatoes and pickles are my favorite things to can, and I really didn’t expect to do either in my new life, but now I have done both. It just goes to show that the future cannot be predicted. Hoo-boy.

So, let me back up. First of all, there is nothing like home grown summertime tomatoes. Those cardboard, mealy things from Mexico are not really tomatoes. Tomato season in North Carolina (and Indiana) is glorious. Frankly, the last two summers have not produced that good of a tomato. It was something about the rain, heat, or lack thereof that stunted the ‘maters, and they just weren’t very prolific or tasty.

This year, they’re baaaack! I have been buying my tomatoes from a cart that parks at the Y on Wednesday mornings. It sells really, really beautiful produce from the Children’s Home, where there is a farm. I have been enjoying ‘mater sammies with Duke’s mayonnaise for a few weeks, now. It’s a southern thing.

Last week, a teaching friend and I got together and canned tomatoes. She had never canned before (frankly, I don’t know that many who have nowadays), and so we spent the morning making a huge mess in her kitchen, avoiding scalded skin, and having a great time “putting up” fourteen quarts and six pints of tomatoes. They looked beautiful.


When a home canner hears the “ping” of a jar sealing, it is the best music, ever. Later, I will open those jars, and stir in those lovely, delicious tomatoes in all manner of good soups. Yep. It makes summer last just a little bit longer.

There are miracles in the mundane…


So, it is summertime, and the livin’ is, well, you know.  Not much has been happening, and that is a pure blessing.  I used to pray for boredom, and I was serious.  When I taught, the average number of decisions I made in a day numbered in the thousands.  When I retired, I told people that I wanted my biggest decision of each day to be what color of sweat pants I would wear.

Then my life, as I knew it, fell to pieces, and that was definitely NOT boring.  I moved across country, built a new life with new friends and new activities.   I have been in full-blown “adventure mode” for four years or more, what with the falling apart and the falling together of my life.  Now, I seem to have gotten my groove back.  I didn’t think that would ever happen.

This summer, since I have been home from my extended stay in Wisconsin, I have been living easy.  What I have noticed are the small, ordinary miracles of my life.  They are not exciting, not extraordinary, not especially thrilling, but here they are…

An orange kitten who leaps into the air, vertically; a thunderstorm with driving rain; the church ladies coming to my tiny home for lunch; running into and chatting with two different neighbors on an early morning walk;  cutting Black-eyed Susans  for my house from my very own yard; spending the weekend at the lake, and joining a group of beautiful, brilliant, lively women for their book club discussion; talking with my sisters on the phone in the evening; volunteering;  penpal-ing with my left-behind grandchildren in Arizona;  mowing grass, planting flowers, and sitting on my deck with breakfast in the mornings; going to the library and reading books!; praying and answered prayers; talking with my former spouse on the phone, weekly; a puppy at my feet at nap time; nap time!; a bicycle ride; dinner out with the girls; playing BUNCO; yoga and weights at the Y; reading Magic Tree House books on his sofa with my little tutoring boy; spotting the first yellow and red maple leaf on the ground;  seeing my brother with his oldest son,  waiting for the bus on my nephew’s first day of high school; and all the miracles I am finding in my simple life.

They are actually pretty thrilling, after all.