Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Afternoon Pickin's

Very Fresh Organic Food
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

Some of this fresh-picked organically home-grown food will be on our dinner plates in a matter of minutes. We're having broiled tuna (our friends Mark & Deb caught it) with salad tonight, poached eggs on toast for breakfast tomorrow, and something with eggplant for either lunch or dinner tomorrow.

Unfortunately, you can't see the abundant variety of salad greens in that basket because I kind of buried them under the other stuff.

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The Greenhouse Today...

Eggplant, Tomatoes, & Yellow Crookneck
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

In the greenhouse today we have several dozen Japanese Eggplant ripening on the vine, a bunch of Yellow Crookneck Squash, and hundreds of Tomatoes just beginning to ripen.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our Saturday Lunch

~Veggie Sandwich~ Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

Lunch yesterday was a veggie sandwich consisting of healthy-sauteéd' (in vegetable broth) Portobello Mushrooms with Japanese Eggplant & onions, on a bed of Romaine Lettuce & fresh cucumber slabs, under sliced tomato & Mung Bean sprouts, all stacked between two slices of Food For Life 100% Whole Grain Ezekiel 4:9 Flourless Bread, lathered on one side with home-made hummus, and on the other, with Follow Your Heart Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise.

We create variations on this theme several days a week, sometimes with avocado and a slice of cheddar, but always making a superb tasting sandwich!

By my best reckoning, this absolutely cholesterol free sandwich, including the hummus and Vegenaise, provides about 290 calories, maybe 75 of them from fat (derived mostly from healthful essential fatty acids). But that's not the reason to eat this thing, the reason is because it tastes so danged good!!!

While I'm on the subject of food, I should, once again, recommend our bible on healthy eating, 'The World's Healthiest Foods', by George Mateljan.

880 pages of comprehensive and invaluable information on the world's hundred most healthful (commonly available) foods, including nutrient richness charts (based on nutrient density per calorie), exhaustive nutritional analysis charts, detailed explanations of why each of the foods is good for you, and, the most healthful ways to store, prepare, and cook them.
~Includes 500 delicious recipes~
(Incidently, the sandwich above is not one of the recipes, but the ingredients are among the Hundred Healthiest Foods, and the method of healthy sauteéing the eggplant, mushrooms, and onions is right out of the book.)

This huge book is the product of 10 years of research by Mateljan and a team of nutritional scientists, and it's a virtual steal at around $25.
If you're interested in this book you can order it directly from http://www.whfoods.com/ or buy new & used copies through our Amazon.com book link in the sidebar to the right.

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Alpine Pedal-Path Morning---Slightly Smoky

~Wildfire Smoke from Upstate~
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom
For the past couple of mornings smoke has been blowing into the valley from the wildfires burning in the more northern parts of the state, near Santa Cruz, and Santa Maria, to name a couple of them.
We started off this morning intending to ride around the lake but breathing the smoke at our end of the lake (east) was already bothering us a bit, and when we saw how thick it was on the west side, over the dam and Fawnskin, we decided to alter our plan and ride the Alpine Pedal-Path along the North shore instead.
So, our near 20 mile planned ride turned out to be somewhere between 10 & 15 miles instead, but still very enjoyable, as you will see.

~Sagebrush Delight~
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom
It seems that everything has it's benefits, the smoke from the fires made for a gently-muted light this morning, almost as if I had a light-diffusing color-saturating filter on my camera.

A Meadow Along The Bike Path
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

We stopped for awhile by a little stream to contemplate the soft loveliness of a smoke-tinged light falling on this meadow, all the time acutely aware that the sources of this very smoke are causing great anxiety in other parts of California ( and I hope our friends in those parts are out of harms way).

Ancient Juniper - A Veteran Of Many Wildfires
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

This Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) along the bike path is probably somewhere between 500 to 1,000 years old, and possibly older, which means it has lived through many, many wildfires during its life, and, as raggedy as it looks at the base, it's still very much alive. One tough old tree!

Enjoy your day...

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Monarch Butterfly on Narrow-Leaf Milkweed

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus). Here a male Monarch feeds on one of three Narrow-Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) growing in our garden.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cabernet, with Blues, in the Afternoon...

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

Afternoon sunlight filters through my glass of Cabernet Sauvignon as J.J. Cale plays his beautiful blues instrumental, 'Shades'. What is mellow?



Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life...

...How Did You Begin Yours?
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

Peggy and I have been sleeping on the deck, outside, under the stars, for the past few weeks. We wake up about 5 A.M. and have been alternating between long morning walks and bike rides around the lake.
This morning we left the house on our bikes, at 5:45, and found another beautiful sky waiting for us. We could see rain in the distance ahead of us so I stopped at Von's deli and asked for a plastic bag to put my camera in, just in case.

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

In the enlarged picture you can see rain falling over to the west of us, and, as we got over near Boulder Bay, the roads were wet but the rain had moved out ahead of us.

You may also notice a rainbow coming down through the clouds in the right side of the photo. It appears to be touching down near the Serrano Campground on the north shore, near the solar observatory, and sure enough, when we got over to the bike path that runs through the campground the ground was still wet.

Boulder Bay
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

As we rolled west the clouds moved to the horizon and blues skies opened above us.

Near The Dam, Looking Southeast
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

Shortly after crossing the dam, and heading back eastward toward home, we stopped for a water break at this overlook.

A Couple Of Hours Later...
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom
Tuesday is the day our local little Farmer's Market sets up shop, just 2 blocks from our house, so after our ride we leashed up Dallas and headed over to pick up some fresh produce.

Click on photos to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

All this fun and we were home before 9 A.M. looking forward to working in our own gardens.

~We Hope You Are Enjoying Your Day~

Peace & Love
Jim & Peg

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Good Morning from Big Bear...

Four Photos From This Morning's Walk

Click on photos to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

The pictures speak for themselves, a sunrise walk to remember, bathed in gorgeous light.

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