Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ivy Creek Greenway (unpaved portion)

Every time I've been out on this trail with the dogs the unpaved portion was closed due to rain damage from the flooding back in September. It's finally reopened. I took my mountain bike even though I can only use one gear.

On the bridge looking toward the waterfall...falls down from this point so you can't see it.

I wasn't quite sure what this is but the color reminded me of the Home house!

The original trail had some problems...sink holes. There's a new trail to the side of it.

Heron in the wetlands

It turned out much shorter than I was told but then...that is usually the case. It was about 1.5 miles one way. Nice, rarely used gravel trail.

Raw/living food diet

green smoothie for dinner...YUM YUM To make it, I put in enough spinach to fill the blender and enough water to make it a liquid. Blend up the spinach and then add whatever fruit you want. I really like it with mango and pineapple (which is what I did in the above pic) but it's also good with blueberries. That way looks like a chocolate shake with purple specks in it. The spinach has such a mild flavor that I really don't notice it much at all.

Since I lost my kitchen 4 weeks ago (almost 5 weeks) I started eating mostly fruits and vegetables in order to save dishes. I was carrying my dishes over to Lanette's and washing them there and then dragging them back so the less I had to carry over the better. Then there was the fact that I was having to use the tub to rinse out/off the dishes and bending over the tub scrubbing didn't sound like a lot of fun to me. I figured after about a week I'd get bored with it and have to figure out some other way of eating without dirtying up a bunch of dishes.

But the week went by and a weird thing started happening...I wasn't craving chocolate anymore. I mean, if I see it, it still looks good and I still salivate at the thought of it! But then I have a bite and it's not appealing. But I wasn't craving it all the time and even when I did see it I had some self control. Most of you who read this have known me my whole life and already know this but some of you don't. When I was 19, I made a deal with a friend. We both wanted to lose weight so we agreed that we would gve up all chocolate and sweets for a year. The person who failed first would have to take the other (and pay) to a place of their choosing. For me it was Lagoon and for my friend, it was a concert. Well, my friend failed just a few months into it and I decided that I was going to keep going. I never got taken to Lagoon though. :o( Anyway, the year ended and I really didn't care about the chocolate or sweets anymore so I just kept going with it. For 2 years, I hadn't touched a bite of choloatey or sweet goodnesses. Then I met Adam and he bought a peice of chocolate cake. I don't like cake at all, by the way, but I had some and the chocolate surged through my body and I've had trouble since then just as I had had before starting the bet. I have often wished I could do it again. I can look at chocolate now and not HAVE to have it.

My usual day in food looks like this:
breakfast - high fiber cereal with dried fruit and milk
snack - some type of fruit or veggie
lunch - BIG salad (the taste changes according to what I add to it) and chocolate milk
snack - almonds & dried cherries
snack - veggie or fruit
dinner - green smoothie
dessert - plain yogurt with fruit

Also, through the day I drink a lot of water. Not sure how much exactly but more than the 64 oz. they say you should get...but that hasn't changed with this new way of eating for me...I've always drunk a lot of water.

That is not what I eat everyday but it is almost everyday.

Anyway, as I was starting this, I was having some serious hunger pains. I was worried that I wasn't getting enough calories and started reading up on nutrition on a raw food diet. I started learning about things like amino acids (I knew what they were but not really much about them at all), enzymes, pH balance, free radicals, the macronturients (carbs, protien and fat) and how all of these things are connected to your immune system. I've only begun scratching the surface so I still can't tell you much about the different aspects of nutrition that I listed but what I have learned has intrigued me greatly. I want to learn more because learning about it is helping me gain a better understanding of my body and all the amazing things it does! There are so many things about our bodies that we are just learning through modern science and it's just amazing to see all the jobs our bodies perform. I still wonder if I'm getting all the nutrients/calories I need but since I'm still eating non-raw foods a couple times a week, plus dairy (also not raw) everyday which gives me protien I'm not overly concerned. No matter how long or short this diet ends up being for me, I hope to take some of the knowledge I'm gaining and continue to follow it.

The thing I thought would end this for me after about a week was food fatigue. When I eat a lot of one food for a week, I don't want to see it again for a long while. But I haven't experienced that! I vary what's in my salads and smoothies so they taste different every time. Plus, when I get hungry, I have fruit on my mind instead of a donut. In fact, the more I eat these foods, the more I want them.

I still have a lot to learn. I am trying to read from sources that are pro and con raw/living food diet as well as people who don't specify either way so that I get different points of view on it. But since I don't know much yet, I am not strict about not eating any cooked foods...I stil do, just not very often.

In the process of eating this way and doing no extra exercising beyond my usual dogwalking, ice skating and biking I have lost 7-8 pounds. Not sure what I was at exactly when I started this.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day of the Wisteria

During spring break my ice skating class wasn't held so I decided to go for a bike ride instead. I took the paved part of Ivy Creek Greenway to the main road and went from the end of the trail onto the main roads into Suwannee. The wisteria was all over the place. It has a strong, wonderful springlike smell to it and it's gorgeous as well.

Suwannee Creek, I believe.


They look like grape vines

See the waterfall behind the wisteria vines?

bike trail

In Suwanee

Downtown historic Buford. I came to check out if any of the historic mansions had spring gardens and not a single one did. I was pretty surprised by that.

Cute house in Buford.

I was riding down a road when I saw a huge area of vibrant purple and knew it had to be a bunch of wisteria so I wandered over. Once I got there I realized I had been on this road right after I originally moved to Georgia. There's an old barn just out of the shot that I took a picture of back then and explored. It's fenced off now and the whole area is way more built up than it used to be. This particular tree had the wisteria thick all the way to the top. One of the best wisteria displays I've seen.

Here's the same tree at the top.
I enjoyed my bike ride a lot. Unfortunately, while I was riding my bike I was missing a meeting with the Adventure Cycling Association that I had wanted to go to but got the date wrong and thought it was on Saturday. Oh well...biking's more fun than the meeting would have been, I'm sure.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cedars RD

I had some time a few weeks ago so I went for a bike ride to see spring. The route was actually a continuation of a preplanned 250 mile route that I am riding over many short segments as time allows. The first jaunt was done with Jasmine. This is only the second segment. It went from the gas station on Winder Hwy to Harbins RD at the Community Center.

This hill shows many different shades of spring.

I came across an old family cemetery. It had a lot of stones but most of them had no writing on them and were very short. I'm not sure if they were fake to make it look like it was more full than it was or not. Only three had any writing on them. These next 2 pics were the better of the 3. The first one shows a date in 1862.

This person died in 1883 in her early 20's.

There was this beautiful creek running on one side of the road but the shade from the trees made it hard to get any good pics.

Light traffic and nice views.

I actually got this picture while at a stop light on the drive home. My camera usually refuses to capture the sky color so I was impressed that it picked it up so well!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kitchen in the works

The kitchen is definitely starting to feel like a kitchen again. :o) Still, nothing is useable yet but its getting closer. Adam and Barry put in the new sink and faucet. The sink is a cast iron, enamled one. I love those. And the faucet color matches the drawer/cabinet pulls we have picked out (but haven't bought yet). It's bronze with copper highlights. The whole island section has a temporary wood countertop. That is really exciting because I was working with a 1.5"x1.5" piece of wood for a countertop. We have the wood for the other sections of counter too but it just hasn't been installed yet. The open floor of the kitchen is not real big but it's big enough to move around in. With all the cabinets and counters it will be MUCH more useable than it was before. I'm excited to see it all finished. We finally decided on what we're doing for the floor. We've had these Italian marble tiles we got for free from some surplus after my company finished putting in a new floor at the corporate office. We were never sure what we would do with them, if we'd do anything at all. There are 3 colors, off white with brownish and black specks in it, black with whitish specks and a splotchy grey color. The grey doesn't really match but the black and white ones go together really well. We're going to do a groutless checkerboard pattern with the black and off white tiles. We'll probably have anoff white border around the whole thing depending on if we have enough black or not. Adam's always wanted a checkerboard floor and now he'll have one for a bit.

New sink and faucet

View from dining room

view from stairs/hallway

building the base for the corner pieces that were originally made to be wall mounted, not floor mounted

leveling all the cabinets and screwing them into place (that was ALOT of work since our floor is not level in any fashion)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bear's spring ride

I took Bear out for a ride around the neighborhood before the trees lost all their blossoms and happened upon this beautiful scene of pink petals covering the road.

The petals were falling from the trees like rain drops. You can see the petals on his back.

Puddles of petals.

Even the gutters were full of the rain of petals.

The cherry trees providing such a pretty scene.

Jas had another visit to the vet

I noticed this big lump on both sides of Jasmine's incision that I hadn't seen before and I got worried about it. It was very hard. So I took Jasmine in and the vet said it is the new ligament they put in. The leg had been swollen so I hadn't seen it. The swelling has gone down and made it noticable. She checked Jasmine's knee for stability. Everything felt great. Jasmine got up and showed off her walking skills for the vet. The vet thought she was doing well and looked at her chart and saw that it hadn't been a month yet and she said that in that case, Jasmine was doing really well and was impressed. Jasmine still hopps on her one good leg in back but she puts weight on it more and more now. She didn't hop once while we were there or limp at all. Actually, she hasn't really limped when using that leg in a couple of weeks now. The incision looks really good. A couple more weeks and her life can return to normal (i.e. she'll be allowed outside as long/often as she wants with the other dogs and she can start running again). She's lost some of her conditioning though since this all started so we'll have to work a bit to bring her back up to where she was then she can join the pack on a group walk. It will be nice since it's a timesaver and everyone seems to walk better (but Jack especially) when she's along. She seems to be a calming influence on everyone.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pollen plague...

Pollen floats through the air like crazy in the spring here. Everything is covered in a layer of greenish/yellow pollen dust. It isn't as bad this year as it has been in the past though. The flowering trees are not the worst culprits though, it's the oaks, pines, poplars, maples and sweet gums mostly. Each week brings a different kind of flowering tree or bush. This week we've got azelas and dogwood trees.

The back fence has had this vine growing on it for a few years now. There's honeysuckle and something else. They just flow over the top in a cascade. It creates shade for the dogs.

This is a bradford pear tree. I am sure they are more popcron like than the apircot trees they sign about! The smell is nasty though.

You can't truly see how bad this pollen was...but I took this picture before it rained that day and it washed it off and the pollen hasn't been as bad since.

These are dog woods and some kind of fruit tree, an apple tree, I think.

I love this spot in spring and fall because it gives a good view of the changing colors. Barry calls the spring green color "embryonic green". The dark ones are the pines. Oddly, the trees here come in the classic spring green and the beautiful flowering colors but also there are some trees that have red and/or orange leaf buds so it can look a bit like spring and fall at the same time.

The beautiful apple tree in our front yard. I watched the petals floating through the air this morning as they were blown off the branch.

The bright pink tree in the center is the same one from the previous picture, the lighter pink one is a cherry tree in our neighbor's yard and the one directly behind it is a bradford pear tree that has lost most of it's white blooms already. The white tree in the foreground is a dogwood. You can just barely see our roofline behind the apple tree.

I have no diea what this bush is but it was the most vibrant color I have seen. It has lost all its blooms now.
The other nice things about spring here is the foilage coming out and blocking views. We can ony see a couple of the neighbors' houses now instead of all the way down the road.
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