It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Protein shake? No thanks, I'm fine.

I have to start this post with the comment that the views I'm expressing are my own and I don't want to offend anyone.  I respect your views, please respect mine.

Last week I noticed several flyers in the office offering a free lunch on Thursday.  The son of one of the ladies was going to make protein smoothie shakes for everyone.  That's nice, I thought, but I need more than a protein shake for lunch. 

In the past I've known people who eat no breakfast, drink a power shake for lunch, go to the gym and work out, and then go home and eat 2 carrot sticks and a tablespoon of brown rice for an evening meal.  Okay, I am exaggerating a little, but you get the point.  They can be content with very little food.

So, Thursday rolled around and I didn't make a lunch to take.  I really had plans to go out and run errands and thought that I would pick up a sandwich or something while out and about.  Close to noon the young man making the smoothies appeared and asked what flavor I would like.  He rattled off quite a few and I choose strawberry banana, still planning to quietly eat a sandwich for lunch.  A few minutes later the rather large cup with the smoothie and another cup with green tea was presented to me.  It was explained that I should drink the smoothie and then follow it up with the green tea.  Honestly, I can't remember the explanation of why I was to do that because I didn't really listen. 

I took a few sips of the smoothie.  It tasted okay, a little powdery though.  A few minutes later I went down to the kitchen to express my thanks to the young man.  I was greeted at the door by a strange lady and saw another unknown man sitting at one of the tables.  The lady had on a shirt with the name of a well-known supplement type company.   I will not name the name of the company, but this young man had just started working with these people.   Before I could get sucked into their "free physical evaluation" the lady was distracted.  I chatted briefly with the young man's mother, who was singing the praises of the protein smoothies and proclaiming that due to all their special ingredients I would not be hungry.  I managed to politely leave the kitchen after thanking the young man and his mother.

I drank about half of the smoothie, but the powdery taste was overwhelming me and leaving a nasty taste in my mouth.  The tea was okay, but not very flavorful.  I quietly donated the remainder of the drinks to the drain in a bathroom sink.  Unfortunately, by this time I realized that I would not be able to get out to get a sandwich.  I was hungry, and would have been even if I had finished off the smoothie.  I ate a handful of veggie chips I had in my food stash and had a long hungry afternoon.  (Just to note I do usually have at least a package of tuna stored away in an emergency stash, but had nothing in the stash on that day, so it really was my fault that I didn't plan ahead and have a back up lunch plan).

I can't understand how a powdery, fruit flavored mixture can really be healthy. I've posted before that I am a firm believer that what you eat has a direct effect on how you feel.  I love fresh fruit and smoothies are okay, but I prefer to just eat the fruit.  I think it is much more sensible to eat a light, well balanced lunch of healthy food.  Protein power smoothie shakes just aren't for me, and that's my opinion.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Wind On My Face

I've always been fascinated by the wind.  As a child, like most children, I tried to catch the wind, but without any success.  I'm pretty sure that I asked the usual questions about why we can't see the wind and why does it blow around on the earth.  I had a second-hand kite that I loved to fly, with a little help of course.  Watching it dance in the wind, homemade tail flying behind it was such a thrill for a little girl. 

As an adult, I still love to feel a gentle breeze and hear the peal of the soft wind chimes that hang outside my back door.  I do not care for a gale-blowing freezing cold blast of the winter season!  Just a soft easy breeze for me.  Where I live during the summer months there is a breeze that comes up off the Gulf of Mexico every evening, so pleasant after a hot day.  I often take this breeze for granted, until my sister comes from the great city to the east where the humidity and mosquitos reign in the evening and she will remind me of the joy of the evening breeze we have to enjoy.

In addition to enjoying the feel of the breeze I enjoy watching the trees and shrubs blow in the wind.  The branches of my large oak trees are barely disturbed by a soft breeze, but the leaves will fall gently to the earth if the breeze is strong enough.  The nandina bushes around the deck almost dance as the breeze ruffles their feathery leaves. The branches of the mimosa tree seem to catch the wind and sway back and forth, almost as if they are playing in it.  What a delight!

I find the wind to be very comforting, too.  There have been several times in my life when I have been troubled or disturbed and felt the breeze on my face and realized it was the hand of God.  I felt the wind touch my face and then the inner voice saying, "Be still, child.  I'm with you. I'm taking care of you.  It will be okay."  God is in the wind, remember the wind that blew the Red Sea back and dried the land for the Israelites to cross?  Remember that Jesus' disciples marveled after He rebuked the wind on the Sea of Galilee? And, what about the sound of a mighty wind that brought the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? 

The next time you feel the wind on your face take a moment to enjoy it.  Look around and see the invisible wind moving the trees and shrubs.  Take a deep breath and be thankful for the wind and the air that we breath.  The wind - one of life's simple things.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Brown Eggs

I don't know why but I almost always buy brown eggs.  There really is no difference in taste between the white eggs and the brown eggs, but there is a difference in price.  I think it goes back into my childhood when I would walk across the highway on hot Mississippi afternoons to spend time with my great-aunt.  She had laying hens and would occasionally let me go into the hen house to gather eggs with her.  I remember that she was terrified of snakes, which are plentiful in that part of the country, and would always be afraid to let me stick my hand into the nests!  I'm not sure how she managed to ever gather eggs herself.  She had several fake eggs that she would put into the nests to fool the hens into thinking that their eggs were still there; I loved to play with the fake eggs, too.  And, yes, the eggs from her hens were brown.  She would keep some of the eggs and they would line up very neatly in the egg keeper in her refrigerator.

I don't keep the eggs in an egg keeper; they stay in the carton until I'm ready to use them.  But I still like to open the carton and see those beautiful brown eggs!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Mimosa Tree

This is my mimosa tree, seen from the front of my house.  They are not overly common to this area, but not exactly rare either.  I know that mimosas are basically considered a weed tree, but I have always loved them. I remember driving to see my grandparents shortly after school was out and seeing them dot the southern landscape, heavy with salmon-pink blooms.  But what I really treasure are the memories of playing in the two that were on the edge of my grandparents' property.  My siblings and I (and sometimes visiting cousins) would get my grandfather to take a step ladder down there so we could get up into the branches.  We spent hours in those trees; I don't remember what we were doing and it doesn't matter.  We just had a good time there and I have priceless memories.

When I was in the process of buying my house I had the opportunity to visit with the older widow lady who was selling the house.  I felt a connection to her and to this house when she told me that she had grown up on the Mississippi/Tennessee border.  I'm sure that the mimosa tree planted in the backyard was a result of her upbringing. 

I need to cut the tree down; it is being crowded out by the larger oak tree and is also really too close to the house.  But I can't do it since it reminds me of childhood visits to a place I loved.  And did I mention how fragrant the blooms are?