How to do the Hokey Pokey

Hokey Pokey

How do you have your body trained?  Is it trained to be overweight? To want lots of bread, pasta and sweets?  What about what most people call, “comfort food,” which is generally soft, sometimes gooey, and often sweet?  Like Mac n’ Cheese or Pot Pie?

There is a term I learned in fifth grade science — “homeostasis.”  Dictionary.com defines it as “the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.”  That’s about right.

Did you ever go on some kind of diet, actually lose a lot of weight, and think you had it made only to find out that your body weight crept back up over time. My friend Kate reminded me of this just a few weeks ago.

It’s because of homeostasis.

Especially if you try to lose the weight fast and/or with dramatically different dietary choices.  Your body is trained to be a certain way and is not going to easily be persuaded to make and maintain a sudden big change.  So you get cravings and thoughts that you “need” to eat something you may have been trying to avoid.

It works the other way around, too, if you trained your body to do something good or healthy.  For instance when I was younger, I worked out in a gym very regularly for many years. I was used to weight training and did it most of my adult life.  Then along came a period of time (years)  when I didn’t belong to a gym and didn’t work out at all. One day I got myself a new gym membership and signed up for a personal trainer to refresh my weight-training skills.

Almost from the beginning—once I got over being “sore” — it was as if my muscles remembered how it used to be. I got back into the workout routine incredibly fast and got very fast results. I was back to homeostasis.

I believe understanding the body’s need to maintain homeostasis is the key to making healthy changes. I do not support “fast” weight loss plans. I already know they will fail because they violate the survival drive of the body to maintain the status quo.

There are some times when someone needs to make very drastic and complete changes to their diet for health reasons. Such as they are trying to save their life! This takes extraordinary, long-term determination.

It is possible to make drastic, complete changes and do well with them even if you aren’t trying to save your own life. I’ve done it. I made a complete, turn-around, change-everything, 180 on my dietary habits when I started macrobiotics in the late ’70’s. How did I make that kind of change so successfully?  I moved into a house owned by two extremely experienced macrobiotic teachers, one of whom was a highly trained macrobiotic cook. She not only knew superb macrobiotic cooking—how to balance the diet, how to make the most delicious food in the world—she knew how to take one look at any one of us living there and understand what one ingredient or dish we needed if we were starting to crave our old ways or getting off balance in any way.

I ate her food/cooking every day for about two years while I learned to do it myself.  By the time I was done and living in my own house, my body had achieved a new training in how to “be” and what foods now represented “homeostasis.”

There are places you can go to learn how to cook this way, meaning the cooking, the balance, the understanding at a glance what food would help at any given time. There are schools and individual cooking teachers around the world who teach this.

So what do the rest of us do who aren’t going to live in someone else’s house and be fed every day while studying how to completely makeover our lifestyle?

Do the Hokey Pokey and, (you know the words)!

  • Consider finding a teacher who’s right for what you want to do and take a few cooking classes!  I taught cooking for over 35 years and have gotten many people off to a great start in pursuing healthier cooking and eating. For some people, taking ANY kind of cooking class would be good because many people are way, way too dependent on the short order cook at the fast food restaurant, or the factory production manager at the frozen food plant, or the good folks at the pizza delivery outlet. Go on! pick up a knife and a carrot and see what you can accomplish!
  • Do read up. Books and blogs are full of all kinds of food and dietary advice. I know—this is difficult because there is so much out there. How do you know what’s right? (I’d love to say, “gut feelings.”  Is that a funny joke?) A lot of the advice out there is pure nonsense but one thing I do know is that whatever route you take, YOU have to be interested. YOU have to decide it sounds good.  YOU have to invest your time and attention in something that makes sense to you. If it doesn’t turn out to be so great, you can always change your direction!
  • There are some really basic things that should be present no matter what kind of dietary advice you decide to try.
  1. Quality of food is extremely important. It should be organic and not have any genetically modified ingredients in it. (Non-GMO)
  2. Do not try to eliminate a whole major food group such as “carbohydrates.” That’s ridiculous because just about everything has carbohydrates just like nearly all food has protein to a greater or lesser degree. Worried about so-called “carbs?” Educate yourself to know the difference between a whole grain and a doughnut. All “carbs” are not the same and not bad.
  3. Until you learn how to balance your meals for optimum benefit, think “Variety.” Variety of colors, cooking styles, veggies, fruits, whatever it is. Variety will actually take you a long way toward your goal to eat healthier.
  4. Chew. Whatever it is you’ve decided to eat, whether right or wrong, it has got to be chewed very, very well. More info on that in my previous post.

Realize that unless you have an emergency health condition requiring immediate, drastic and extraordinary change, the healthy changes you decide to make amount to re-training your body so it becomes accustomed to a new state of homeostasis that can be maintained.

 

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Food Recalls (Or, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”)

Food recalls can be really scary sometimes, especially if you think you may have the item in your kitchen or pantry or even worse, you may have eaten the suspect product! I haven’t written a lot about food recalls myself, but today I am going to do it if only so you can benefit from my experience.

A recent recall I read about was about 4,000 pounds of beef recalled due to “incomplete processing.”  That just leaves so much repulsion to the imagination that I can’t begin to express it. Downright lurid, that is.

Unfortunately I recall eating a lot of beef in my younger years. For instance my Dad grilled steak every Saturday night for dinner. The accompanying family fun and observing how proud Dad was to provide his family with prime grade-A beef made this seem like a good thing. All that delicious grilled fat with slightly crispy edges! The way the marbling made it taste!

Well, for the first few chews anyway. After that there is really no taste to speak of and I would swallow the rest. Talk about “incomplete processing!” I’ve observed that’s what most people do when eating beef or meat. The first few chews pull out the fat and added flavoring (BBQ sauce, chemical-laden tenderizer, marinade, spice rub, A-1, etc.) and the rest is tasteless and chewy and why bother to continue chewing?

Eventually I found out what happens to un-chewed foods such as meat and beef when you swallow it! Your stomach doesn’t have teeth  ya know!  Yes protein can be broken down but how big a chunk of un-chewed beef do you think your stomach is going to handle and how long does it take?

Not sure of the size limit, but I’m sure the food has to be pretty small to really get digested. As for the time it takes, beef and meat take L O N G and typically putrify before digestion has a chance to be completed.

Luckily our bodies are very survival-oriented and can stow that undigested food out of the way. Well, not exactly out of the way. Ever wonder what that overhanging gut is packing? Not just “fat.” It’s undigested food. And if the undigested food stays there long enough, it gets about as hard and solid and black as the macadam they pave your road with. Not exaggerating. Get out the jackhammer.

How’s that for lurid food recall?  “I recall eating too much meat and ending up with a parking lot paved gut!:”

To add insult to injury, there is the matter of meats such as beef creating an unhealthy acidic condition in your body. There is also the fact that eating a lot of meat easily creates an imbalance that often leads to craving sugar and sweets. No wonder the best part of my childhood Saturday night grilled sirloin dinner was roasting marshmallows over the still-hot grill after we ate!

You know when most people grill steak and other meats outside? In the summertime when the weather is hot and we don’t want to cook inside the house. You know what food can make your body produce heat like there’s no tomorrow? Meat and especially beef.

I mentioned this to someone just yesterday and he responded that he has noticed when he eats meat he sweats more.

Now we all know that everyone has not decided to give up meat. Beef is still “What’s for dinner” for a lot of people. What to do? It is not easy maintaining balance and health while eating beef and other meats but it is easy to start controlling and counteracting the negative effects.

  1. (Obvious if you read this post) Chew your food until it is liquid. This is an old, traditional maxim that people used to know. Know now that it still holds true. Chewing is your first digestive action and is extremely important even if the flavor of your steak has waned.
  2. Cooked food does not have live enzymes to help digest it. So follow this advice too: “Don’t dine without enzymes!”
  3. Portion your meat serving so you are eating twice as many leafy greens plus other vegetables as meat. And the smaller the portion of meat, the better. Do you really need a 12-oz New York strip or would a few slices of very high-quality beef strips in a large veggie salad give you the flavor and satisfy the craving?
  4. Quality counts. It is well-known that animals raised for food production such as beef cattle are fed with GMO feed, antibiotics and hormones. At least buy organic. If organic seems expensive, wait until you find out how expensive those medical bills will be when your heavy and unbalanced, undigested meat eating habits catch up with you!

For more information on making the transition to a healthier diet, contact me directly. (See sidebar)

A Day in Corrales and a Vegan Lunch

My husband picked a beautiful day to take us to Corrales, New Mexico where we took a tour of artists’ studios.

New Mexico is chock full of artists and while you’ve probably heard about the art colonies in places like Taos or Santa Fe, every New Mexican town—large or small—has a cache of wonderful local art. Corrales, or should I say “Corraleans” call their place a village. I suppose with only 7300 people that is true.

The tour included 75 artists which was more than we could manage to visit in one day. As we drove through the village, we saw Villa Acequia, an historic building circa 1862 on Corrales Road. There they had a sampling of all the artists’ work so you could decide which ones to visit. We didn’t want to be that organized. We just wandered around all day but we did stop into this Villa. It was shaping up to be a very warm day.

We’re flirting with summer over here in New Mexico. ENTRANCE TO VILLA ACEQUIA I was fascinated with these shadows on the front walkway of Villa Acequia. Inside was beautiful too. The owner recently restored this historic building and isn’t sure yet what he’s going to do with it. I thought it would be a beautiful place for a wedding or an event. Inside was all the art and a lot of information. I didn’t photograph art but I did photograph a lovely easel I found inside. EASIL This is not an unusual objet d’art, I know, but it was inviting me to come try my hand at painting! I also took several photos of this: BATHROOM SLASH WINE CELLAR   wine in the bathroom This is the restroom/wine cellar.  Ladies, did you bring your corkscrew when going into the facilities?

We really only got around to seeing about a dozen of the seventy-five artists. We found several that we truly admired including a family of photographers, a glass infusion artist, and wonderful potters.  My Hubbin’ bought me a beautiful pottery serving plate made by Sandy Lipka. You will see more about that when I feature it in a cooking post!

Of course, we got hungry. We went to one of the small, gourmet restaurants in the village (there are many) called The Indigo Crow Cafe. Indigo Crow Cafe is by no means a vegetarian or vegan restaurant but they do feature several suitable choices on their menu. More and more restaurants are doing that these days.

My Hubbin’ opted for Sunday Brunch and I chose a portabello mushroom sandwich which was excellent! Unlike most I’ve had, they do not smother it with cheese and it was not in the least bit oily so the mushroom and vegetables actually stayed in the sandwich instead of sliding out of the multi-grain ciabatta.. PORTOBELLO SANDWICH 1   This was perfectly refreshing and satisfying! FLOWERING CACTUS It was a lovely day in Corrales!

This New Year is All Ours

I live one of those crowded, impromptu lives. It has many more things jammed into it than one imagines would fit into the small space of twenty-four hours a day. Lucky for me, time is only a consideration—not a steadfast rule.

Last year, in late 2013, I was entertaining the idea that I probably had too many pursuits, too many “hobbies,” too many unfinished projects.  But like the flu that descends upon us in an unkind surprise visit, that idea quickly wore out its welcome with me.

This was the oddest holiday season I can remember. Usually before Thanksgiving has even arrived I’m onto decorations, gifts, seasonal holiday dishes, special blog posts, and striving to make the most of one of my favorite times of the year. Not this time. One advent calendar went up in November and we fed on salted caramels for twenty-five days in December. Snow began falling on my blog (Love that!). A few gifts eventually got wrapped and exchanged. I wore my Christmas scarf at the Christmas party at work. It is bright red and says, “But Santa . . . I can explain!”

No Christmas recipes got posted. No December Chocolate Mousse. (It was going to be a Black Forest Cherry Chocolate Mousse Cake. I might resurrect this idea for Valentine’s Day.)

My Christmas dinner consisted of Lentil Soup, Roasted Vegetables and Salad. It was absolutely delicious but not fodder for a Christmas Eve cooking blog post. No.

A post title got written:  “Keeping Christmas.” But only the title. I’ll save it for next year.

I traveled to see family Christmas week but the main celebration was meeting my new daughter-in-law to be and celebrating my son’s engagement to her. That was wonderful and personal and better than any Christmas celebration.

I do like the idea of a “New Year!”  2014 promises to be the absolute best ever for me, my family and my friends. I’m certain of that! And I am happily carrying on the theme of this recent holiday season – take it as it comes, create it as I go. No resolutions, no pressure.

Thank you for reading my posts and for all your comments and acknowledgements! I am itching to return to my kitchen and pull out my camera and share my cooking life with you.

All the warmth and pleasure of loving friends and family to you in this New Year. And may you dream the best dreams and realize them in life. Whether your days fly by in a blur or meander along at an endless stretch, they are all yours to enjoy as you wish if you make it so.

When I Was Supermom

I don’t know why I never thought to tell you this story before. It certainly is a “My Cooking Life” story. Probably because whenever I think about it, it kind of freaks me out. But then I also wonder at how I managed to get myself and my three little boys out of that scary situation.

Daily Prompt asks todayDaily Prompt: Daring Do. Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?

I had just gone to the local co-op in Atlanta, Georgia and the Buick Skylark was loaded with a ton of groceries, one boy in the front seat of the car with me and two more younger boys in car seats in the back.

We all piled in and worked our way through the side streets to the highway to go home. It was a hot and sultry afternoon and I wanted to get my food home quickly and get it into the refrigerator. I remember the organic strawberries had been on sale and I had bought a lot of them.

As I merged onto the highway I sped up. I’m not a timid driver, but I never usually went over the speed limit either especially with my precious babies in the car with me. I guess I was trying to get home awfully fast, I thought, as I looked at the rising dial on the speedometer.

I slowed just a little—or at least I thought I would. That ol’ Buick had a mind of its own! It continued to accelerate. Another pump of the brakes. Still speeding faster and faster. A serious push on the brakes. The car was only barely kept in check, yet the brakes did seem to be working.

The boys in the back were nodding off in their seats. The boy in the front was chattering away. The Mom driving was starting to panic as she realized the car was accelerating on its own and not stopping.

As we zoomed down the highway, which was not very busy, I continued trying to slow down and maneuvered the car down the road realizing that soon it was time to get off the highway and back onto regular streets. Streets that had slow-moving cars and stop lights.

I picked my exit—one that went sort of flat for a short distance before there was a stop light and then, if you go right, there’s a big hill. There was nothing to do but take the exit and try it. I could see that there was no traffic, no cars.

“Ramp speed 30 miles per hour” the sign said. Not us! We would exit at over 70 miles per hour.

I glanced back at the two sleeping babies in my back seat and over to my boy in the front. Not sure if he realized something was wrong but he was about to.

I unbuckled my seat belt as we traveled the exit ramp and stood up the best I could in my car while driving down the road. I was putting all my weight onto my brakes which were now only slowing us down because of my physical pressure.

The light was green and I made a right onto a very steep hill still standing on my smoking brakes. I don’t know how I did it so fast without thinking, but I chose a spot to get off the road and stop the car. It was a small group of stores and they were on another pretty steep hill and there was a very long driveway going from the lot to behind the buildings.

I took it. The car slowed enough and I pulled on the emergency brake and brought us to a stop.

Drenched I sat there and looked at my beautiful family. We were all awake and we were all okay. I called my neighbor and she came and got us and our groceries and took us home.

We feasted on strawberries that very day.

I have long since stopped wondering at how fast the whole fiasco went, how much danger we had been in, how badly it could have turned out and how—for the love of God—did I come up with that maneuver on the spot and keep us out of a wreck?

There’s no figuring it out. There was no time to think. I just acted and I clearly recall the feeling of knowing what I was doing and knowing I could make that instant plan work.

English: Strawberries at a market.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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If I Chose Tattoes

Today’s Daily Prompt asks:  Tattoo….You? Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting

To Tattoo or not to tattoo.

That is the question.

If I chose,

Would they be tattoes?

I was going to ignore this question because the short answer to it is: No, I do not have a tattoo.

But if I did have one, what would it be? That would all depend on what decade we’re talking about which is why I’m glad I never got a tattoo.  I have a friend who got a tattoo of Dark Wing Duck on her leg when she was young. That was the first thing she explained to me when I first met her—how she got that tattoo a long time ago and she can’t believe she is walking around the rest of her life with a Dark Wing Duck tattoo.

I could easily have made the same kind of regrettable decision as a child of the ’50’s by getting a tattoo of Soupy Sales or Popeye. And if I had even known about tattoos and had a chance to get this one I doubt anyone could have talked me out of it!

soupy sales

Of course there are no tattoo designs of Soupy Sales. (Are there?)

No question what my tattoo would have been in junior high.

PAUL

I would have had stiff competition from my friend Dottie over who had the best Paul tattoo not to mention which one of us was going to marry him.

In high school I might have been persuaded to get a Beach Boys tattoo and I definitely could have been persuaded to get a tattoo of the Woodstock poster design. I was devastated that I wasn’t allowed to go to Woodstock. So no Woodstock tattoo.

woodstock

In the late ’60’s and early ’70’s I might have considered these:

grateful dead tattoo

MR. NATURALOn second thought, no. Not the Grateful Dead tattoo or the Mr. Natural. I got myself an airbrushed Mr. Natural T-Shirt instead.

I mellowed out in the late ’70’s and ’80’s and my tattoo design of choice would have been the Yin/Yang symbol. I was deep into eastern philosophy, macrobiotic cooking and searching for spiritual enlightenment. [Yes, my regular readers, you have found the "mycookinglife" tie-in for this post!]

Funny, I found a lot of beautiful yin/yang tattoo designs but most of the actual tattoos were not as fetching. Here’s a design I might have chosen and here’s one real tattoo that looks better than most:

YIN YANG DESIGN
  YIN YANG TATTOO
In the ’90’s, I would likely have chosen this if I were tattoo-inclined:
BRAVES
I would have been a walking, talking copyright violation. As it was, I was a fervent Atlanta Braves baseball fan with caps,T-shirts, felt banners and giant foam tomahawks to prove it.. Not to mention, they haven’t won the World’s Series since the ’90’s.
Lucky for me I didn’t get a symbol of myself, my beliefs, my desires or my heroes permanently displayed on my body since these things have changed over and over again as the years passed by. I like this pop culture symbol, but what would it mean to me thirty years from now?
MOCKINGJAY
There is a whole world of tattoo art out there with competitions, conventions, tattoo celebrities and everything else. I do admire some tattoos I’ve seen that are very aesthetic and excellently crafted. They just aren’t my cup of tea.
CUPPA TEA
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Shocking Celebrity Sighting!

Today’s Daily Prompt asks:  Scour the news for an entirely uninteresting story. Consider how it connects to your life. Write about that.

Have you seen MSN or Yahoo home pages where they shout various hot stories at you? There’s always some celebrity gossip available and usually none too flattering. These don’t interest me at all because I respect artists and I’m not into cabal.

The page I saw was this one:

“CELEBRITY TOOB:  3O FAIRLY SHOCKING PICTURES OF CELEBRITIES WITHOUT MAKEUP PHOTOS”

(Gotta love the redundancy here. You can tell this is high-class news reporting.) I looked these pix over and thought most of the celebs looked pretty darned okay without their glam on. Just as I was thinking they shouldn’t be too offended, I came upon picture #25. This was a celebrity I’ve known nearly all my life. One that is beloved the world over and has personally been a part of millions of lives!

I was shocked indeed! No need to tell you who she is—you’ll recognize her in an instant.

Celebrities_Without_Makeup_25

This is just wrong. Barbie deserves way more respect than this. But even so, Barbie looks amazeballs with or without her makeup, doesn’t she? (Perfect hair. How does she do it?)

Of course this connects to My Cooking Life. I was immediately reminded of something that happened just last night!

I was cruising around my natural food store late last night after work looking for some ready-to-eat dinner. I was going through the produce section on my way to the deli hot food when I spotted them.

I couldn’t believe it! Completely whole. No trimming. No preparation. No hiding their large, rough, blemished roots. One of the most famous, world-renowned celebrity ingredients in nearly every cuisine, cooking method and dietary program.

And I caught them incognito without a speck of glam!

CELERY ROOT PAINT

True culinary stars loved by all. Do you recognize them? I didn’t at first until I took a closer look.

CELERY ROOT CLOSE UP

“We’re not quite ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille,” they exclaimed. “Don’t worry, Miss Celli, you’re gorgeous just as you are!” I answered.

I was so thrilled, I didn’t bother asking for an autograph. I swept these two off their shelf and brought them home with me. Imagine what these will look like when they’re all glammed up! Ahhh, the things you have to endure in show biz.

Stay tuned for that. . .

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  28. Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots | Basically Beyond Basic
  29. Tethered by Toys « Morning Pages
  30. Everything is Relevant | Nerdy Woman
  31. Becoming Dr. Ruth | To Pursue Happiness
  32. Not News, Just Reality | Just Visiting This Planet
  33. My Enemy | Life Confusions
  34. “Connect the Dots” | Relax
  35. WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ CASINO | SERENDIPITY
  36. Wrong Is Wrong | Flowers and Breezes
  37. Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  38. connect the dots | yi-ching lin photography
  39. DATASEXUAL / Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots | Communication For Development

Bringing A Long Held Goal to Light

Today’s Daily Prompt asks:  Tell us about the blog post you were most nervous to publish — and what it was like to set it free.

While I wouldn’t exactly say, “nervous,” I would say that I sometimes want to write something pretty far off the topic of cooking, food, health, etc. And sometimes I have done just that right here.

But there’s another side of me. All my life, my published work has been non-fiction. My unfulfilled goal is to try my hand at writing fiction. I have dabbled here and there and yes, I do have some manuscripts I’m working on.

I was chatting with Claude about this just this morning and telling him about this Daily Prompt and he generously offered to help me tell my story, called

Jewel of the Sea

As you can see I’ve arranged that you will have to click through on the title to see the story. Does that mean I’m nervous about it? Doesn’t matter. I am very happy to have finally started this story which I’ve been hanging on to for a long time!

  1. Daily Prompt: Release me – Out with the old, in with the new | littlegirlstory
  2. Daily Propmt: Release Me | Under the Monkey Tree
  3. Daily Prompt: Release Me | Awl and Scribe
  4. Daily Prompt: Release Me | Chicomallorca’s Blog
  5. The Funny Song | JC Bride ~
  6. ••Set !t Free•• | mët•aRVhëë•n✪ia
  7. Daily Prompt: Release Me #photography | ThisCornerOfTheWoods
  8. Nervous nah, not me | RPMAS
  9. Daily Prompt: Release Me | A Mixed Bag
  10. Irish skies|Daily Prompt: Release Me « Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis and Me
  11. Free Indeed | Prayers and Promises
  12. Blogging Is Freedom | The Ambitious Drifter
  13. Release Me | Life Confusions
  14. Please release me | Neva Samaki
  15. Sex or Lance-a-Lot?! | alienorajt
  16. S. Thomas Summers | Daily Prompt: Release Me
  17. Crow Arrow, Inc.
  18. Thank you everyone for the love and support | Processing the life
  19. A Soul’s Plight |
  20. Daily Prompt: Release me | Motherhood and Beyond
  21. Daily Prompt: RELEASE ME? FEAR THEN NOTHING MUCH | SERENDIPITY
  22. I Want To Break Free: Daily Post | Just Visiting This Planet
  23. To All Bloggers And Writers: When It Comes To Writing, Regret (Yes) Fret (No) | The Jittery Goat
  24. Nervous | Hope* the happy hugger
  25. Daily Prompt: Release Me | Moments Thru Lens
  26. Daily Prompt: Release Me | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  27. The Fear of the Blog | readingwithafeather
  28. Freedom, Baby yeah…! | The Rider
  29. Prompt Post | Completely Disappear
  30. Mystery story | Life is great
  31. Free | The Magic Black Book
  32. check yourself before you wreck yourself | The Gallas Daily News
  33. Daily Prompt, Release me (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/daily-prompt-free/) | … Lara Klopp … Variegated Musings …
  34. My.Vivid.Visions | Daily Prompt: Release Me – Annoying Marriage Discussions
  35. The Unknown | Flowers and Breezes
  36. I am Free | ayimas
  37. Daily Prompt: Release Me « Mama Bear Musings
  38. Be Afraid Be Very Afraid-It could come back to bite | Kansa Muse
  39. Putting words to your thought | crookedeyebrows
  40. Daily Prompt: Release Me | a thotful spot
  41. Release Me: Letting Go and Moving On | Hey, Miss Adventures!
  42. Daily prompt: Release Me: An Expereience Worth Sharing | storyofmylife1993
  43. And the Journey Begins; India | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  44. The sound of release | Mirrorgirl
  45. Setting The Donkey Free | Fish Of Gold
  46. If I had a time machine or woulda, coulda, shoulda | The Road Less Paved
  47. Release Me | Kate Murray
  48. Daily Prompt: Release Me | Charron’s Chatter
  49. This thing called life. | Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Exactly? I don’t know.
  50. Release Me: On a rocking horse of time | dark circles, etc
  51. Daily Prompt: Release Me | Undecided Answer
  52. Break Me Free – Love, Sex & Poetry (Daily Prompt – Free) | Linda Long Writes!
  53. Daily Prompt: Release Me | To Breathe is to Write
  54. Daily Prompt: Release Me! | One Starving Activist
  55. Freedom and Writing… | sltimewellwasted
  56. The Cathartic Power of Writing and Blogging | Rob’s Surf Report
  57. Setting me free | Muddy River Muse
  58. When To Safely Hit “Publish” And When To Hold Back! | The Political and Social Chaos Blog
  59. Free | That girl with the spectrespecs
  60. The Artist’s Job | Babsje Heron

Autumn in New Mexico

The shift in the outdoor palate is not so subtle now.

In late August you can barely see the changes. But even then, I can usually notice how the green in the leaves of trees is no longer fresh, no longer so vibrant. The green is looking a bit worn, a bit old.

September has nearly passed and the inevitable is now evident. I love the subtleties as well as the obvious change of orange, red and yellow hues in the foliage.

No wonder artists love to come here! No wonder they paint in purples, golds, pinks, and every other color here in New Mexico!

SAGEY LOOKING

The sage colors are sagier, the blossoms dropping.

SUNFLOWER

Are there any sunflower seeds left?

PAINT BEE WITH POLLENThis fat little bee was so loaded with pollen it’s a wonder he could even fly!

CACTUS

Gorgeous even without the flowers.