A (Fitbit) walk to the farmers’ market

I wrote recently about my newly acquired Fitbit. I have decided to stick with my low, but attainable, goal; I’d rather make my goal and overachieve than always be struggling to make a high goal and feeling badly when I couldn’t do it most days.

I am getting most of my daily steps in by walking while I telephone my mother in the morning and by taking a walk in the evening with B.

Today, my morning call was short and my evening walk may not happen because I have a poetry meeting, so I decided to walk to the farmers’ market this morning. I wanted to buy some apricots and lettuce. I grabbed a cloth bag and a little purse with just my essentials, as my pocketbook is too heavy to lug around on walks.

As often happens at the farmers’ market, I bought more than I intended to. There weren’t any apricots, but there were lovely prune plums and some early apples, which I knew that T, who will be home for the coming week between her internship and new semester, would enjoy. And I didn’t want to run short of carrots and maybe a fresh tomato would be a good addition to the salad I am planning for dinner tonight. Oh, and look at that lovely selection of summer squashes, picked nice and small the way I like them!

The next thing I knew, I had a hefty amount in my bag to carry home. About halfway there, my Fitbit vibrated to let me know I had reached 5,000 steps. I had to shift my bag from arm to arm as I walked, relying more on my left side as my right arm has been weakened by some orthopedic problems.

When I got home, I weighed my bag and found it was eight pounds.

I want brownie points for the extra calories I burned carrying it home!

(And I will resist the urge to indulge in any actual brownies.)

Fitbit – getting started

When I was visiting my daughter E in Honolulu, her workplace started a new fitness program and gave them all new Fitbits. E already had a Fitbit Flex, which she offered to me and I gratefully accepted.

I waited to set it up until I had gotten through the jet lag and backlog of stuff I needed to deal with, so I’ve only been using it for a week and a half. Given that I haven’t been diligent about exercise for months and months, I decided to start with a modest step count, 5,000/day, only half of the default value of 10,000 steps.

In order to make my goal, I went back to walking while I talked with my mother on the phone every weekday morning. Coupled with evening walks with B and running errands, I have been making my step count, including one especially active day when I made it to 10,649!

Today has the potential to be the first day I don’t make my 5,000 step goal. I seem to have pulled a muscle in my thigh, genuflecting at church this morning. I went for a short walk with B, trying to stretch it out, but it just seemed to hurt more, so I came home and iced it.

I’ll have to see what becomes of my goal today and this week. I don’t want to make my leg heal more slowly by pushing too much.

Leave it to me to have a liturgical injury…

Evening update:  I did manage to get 5,000 steps in, albeit more slowly and over a greater time span. I’ll have to see how sore my leg is tomorrow to ascertain if I can make my goal or need to declare a rest day.

poet-tree

my poem on the poet-tree

When I was visiting Beth in Honolulu this summer, we would walk up the hill in Kaimuki to go to the big Saturday morning farmers’ market at Kapi’olani Community College. There is always a huge array of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, jams, pickles, etc., as well as lots of prepared foods and beverages to enjoy there.  (Also, lots and lots of people, as it is listed in the tour guides and some of the bus tours bring people there.)

We would walk home through campus and pass by their poet-tree, which is a world community poetry project. Visitors are invited to write a poem and leave it in a jar. Then, the poems are sorted into geographic regions, sealed in plastic, and affixed to the poet-tree, which has pegs for different countries or regions.

On the last weekend of my visit, I brought a poem to contribute to the project. E sent me this photo over the weekend, showing it on display! The poem itself is one I wrote several years ago. and, as often happens, there is a bit of poetic license. I realize it is a hard to read in the photo, so here it is:

Two Trees

A pair of gum trees
Reaching tall in the courtyard
Bark flashing streaks:
       grey, red-brown, green, vibrant orange
A paint-by-number from childhood come to life.
Transplanted into Hawaiian soil
You grow at a prodigious rate
As do my own daughters
Also transplanted there.

(Note:  The trees are rainbow eucalyptus.)

Discovering Dyslexia

This is my comment on this post:  https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/the-journey-of-a-thousand-books-sets-sail/ from Rowena of Beyond the Flow. I thought readers here would appreciate it, too.

The most compelling reading story in my family is my niece Skye. She was struggling with reading and her school was not being very helpful. My sister finally took her to a specialist for evaluation and they discovered that she had a form of inherited dyslexia. My sister was perplexed, as she didn’t know of anyone in our family who was affected. When she told my parents about the diagnosis, my father recognized that Skye had the same problems that he did. At the age of 80, he discovered that the reading difficulties that he had worked around his whole life, without telling anyone about it, were caused by dyslexia! Skye’s older brother with the help of his parents started raising funds for the organization that was aiding Skye to help her access the world of books and Skye took on the project when she was older. It became known as The Paco Project. There is a video on the site telling the story of Skye and her grandfather, whom we call Paco.

As Skye was in her high school years, she became an advocate for dyslexic students in New York City, where she lives, and for other kids who were being marginalized for other reasons. As its final project, The Paco Project raised $25,000 to help NYC kids who needed help with reading. In a few weeks, Skye will start college. She will be studying Early Childhood Education, with an eye to spotting potential reading problems in pre-schoolers, so that they always have the tools they need to succeed. We are all so proud of her and my dad for what they have done to help others.

Poem: “Sturbridge, Massachusetts”

I am pleased to announce that Silver Birch Press has published my poem “Sturbridge, Massachusetts” as part of their “My Perfect Vacation” series. Just follow this link:  https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/sturbridge-massachusetts-poem-by-joanne-corey-my-perfect-vacation-series/

As a bonus, there is a photo of B and me cutting our wedding cake, which I scanned from a photo in our wedding album to accompany this poem. It was a spice cake with butter cream frosting, which was an exotic choice back in 1982. It was delicious.

Feel free to comment here or on the Silver Birch Press page – or both!

1,000 Follower Celebration: Meet and Greet

Jay Dee Archer of “I Read Encyclopedias for Fun” is hosting a meet and greet to celebrate reaching the 1,000 followers milestone! Jay Dee is an author, teacher, spouse, and dad, currently living in Japan but planning a return to Canada next year. He blogs about writing, life in Japan, being a dad, geography, astronomy, and much more. Go check out his blog, introduce yourself on his meet and greet thread, and have fun!

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

fireworks

I love milestones, and this is a big one. This blog has finally achieved 1,000 followers! So, I thought, what could I do for this occasion? Well, some other people have done something similar, one for a 500 follower milestone, and another who just does it to bring bloggers together.

Let’s have a good old meet and greet! It’s very simple, just leave a comment with a link to your blog (the main blog or a single post, it’s up to you) and say something brief about your blog or yourself if you like. If you have a book, tell us about it, too. I’d also like to ask you to do one other thing: share this post as much as you like and anywhere you like. Tell other bloggers you know about this post so they can also find some great blogs to follow.

I look forward to meeting…

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SNAP

Dear Members of Congress,

I made a trip to our local farmers’ market this morning to choose among the amazing summertime bounty of fruits and vegetables from the NY/PA border region.

I was pleased to see the market so crowded and gratified to see that the vendors accepted SNAP benefit vouchers from shoppers. The people that I saw using vouchers this morning were retirement age women, but I know that there are also younger adults and families in our area who use SNAP benefits, even though household members have jobs.

I call on you to expand food benefits programs such as SNAP and WIC so that everyone in the USA has access to all the food they need to maintain or improve their health.

I also call on you to ensure that employers pay their employees a living wage, so that they don’t need to rely on government programs for basic necessities.

Both are ways to “promote the general welfare” as you are called to do by our Constitution.

Sincerely,
Joanne Corey

Strawberry shortcake

One of the trade-offs I made in spending five weeks visiting my daughter E in Hawai’i was that I was not at home for local strawberry season.  (I can hear you all sarcastically saying “aaaaawwwwww!”)

In our family, strawberry season is one of the most anticipated times of year. We used to go to our favorite local farm to pick them by the bucket, for ourselves and to share with extended family. I will admit the last few years had turned into buying quarts at the farmers’ market, with fewer people at home and a few physical constraints creeping in.

The two to three weeks of the height of strawberry season then turn into an orgy of strawberry eating. Strawberry shortcake was usually the first entrant. Fresh strawberry glacé pie, using a recipe from the farm we used to visit when I was growing up. Strawberry spinach salad. Strawberries on ice cream. Strawberries on cereal. Eating strawberries plain or dipped in sugar. Then, there were the strawberry-rhubarb combinations – pie, crisp, and a chilled soup that is one of my favorite dishes ever.

It is all amazingly delicious and special because we seldom eat strawberries unless they are fresh and local.

So I thought I had missed all the strawberries until I went to the farmers’ market this morning. One of the vendors is not a farmer himself, but re-sells produce from various New York and Pennsylvania farms. He must have some suppliers who are a bit further north and still had fresh strawberries. I bought a quart and currently have about half of them washed, sliced, and macerating in the fridge. I baked the shortcakes and will get some whipping cream when I go out on errands this afternoon. The bowl and beater and chilling in the fridge.

I get to surprise B with fresh strawberry shortcake tonight for dessert. I can hardly wait!

SoCS: Is it really almost over?

Is it really almost over?

I have been AWOL from One-Liner Wednesday and Stream of Consciousness Saturday for the last several weeks as I have been visiting my daughter in Honolulu. Her husband has been away doing research for his PhD dissertation in London, as well as visiting his family there.

My husband came out with me for the first two weeks, during which time we stayed in a hotel. Then, he had to return to go on a business trip. I moved to my daughter’s apartment and have been staying with her for almost three weeks.

It is less like vacationing and more like living here, which is cool! I have been blogging about it, such as this post about settling into the Kaimuki neighborhood where she lives, but there are others to check out at Top of JC’s Mind, if you are interested. (Shameless plug!)

I fly out on Tuesday, but I’m having trouble wrapping my head around it. Just a few more days and I’ll be back – and six-hours-of-time-change jet-lagged – in upstate New York. Back to the stuff that is filling up my calendar back home – appointments and meetings – and the catching up on mail and errands and visits.

I’m not sure I’m ready – but it is what it is.
*****

Linda’s prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “is” Please join us! Find out how here:  http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-415/

socs-badge

Food – leeward – food

Yesterday, E started a four-day holiday weekend, so we decided to go on an excursion to avoid the crowds that are sure to be huge over the holiday.

We started with breakfast at Town, one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. E had polenta, greens, and egg and I had baked French toast.

Fortified, we set out on the H1 for the leeward (west) side of O’ahu. I had never been to that side but E and L had a short honeymoon getaway there and sometimes go there to visit the beaches. As I have mentioned, driving in Hawai’i is an adventure for me, but we made it through the day safely, despite some slowdowns. The weirdest thing on the road was passing my former rental car. Earlier this week, some warning lights came on in the Honda Fit, so it got swapped for a Toyota Corolla. E spotted the license plate of the Fit as I passed it on the highway. I’d say small world, but small island is more applicable in this case.

As we got away from Honolulu and its suburbs, we drove through terrain that reminded me of part of the Big Island – red soils, exposed rock, sparse and dry vegetation. In Hawai’i, the leeward sides of the islands tend to be dry. It’s common to see cactus and other plants that don’t need much water. The higher elevations as you go inland tend to be wet, some with annual rainfall of 400 inches (1,000 cm) or more. The highest peaks in the younger islands even get snowfall during the winter.

We parked close to the series of lagoons and beaches that the hotels that populate the leeward coast in Ko Olina had built.  We walked along the path behind the lagoons, enjoying the breeze and the views. Then, we went to get a smoothie and an acai bowl for lunch to cool off.

We headed back to E’s apartment before the traffic got too bad and to make sure we were here for our dinner reservation. The executive chef/owner of Town has recently opened a new restaurant kitty corner across the intersection from Town. It is named Mud Hen Water, which is the literal translation of Waialae, the avenue on which it is located.

Mud Hen Water specializes in small plates that fuse local ingredients and cuisine with more modern food trends. E and I shared:
*  pa’i’ai, which is taro pounded and fried, in a seaweed wrap so you can pick it up to eat
*  a beet salad, which was prepared similarly to poke. E was happy because she wanted me to experience poke style, but I don’t eat raw fish, so doing it with beets, which I love, was a great alternative.
*  A mutligrain risotto with peanuts and greens
*  lawalu, which was opah (a fish) wrapped in green banana leaves and cooked buried in coals, served with various grilled vegetables
*  a upside-down pineapple polenta cake, served warm with vanilla gelato
*  butterscotch-miso rice pudding with lacy ginger wafers
Everything was super delicious! We will have to go again the next time we visit. I’m sure we’ll go to Town also. We love to support the local businesses of Kaimuki!