Monday, July 22, 2013

Running with the Devil on my shoulder!

So before we talk about the nitty gritty I want to brag a bit. Two Thursdays ago I passed a very difficult test with my work wyfe and we both passed! So pleased to announce that I am now a Registered Nurse - Certified In-Patient Obstetrics! (RNC). While I am not able to get a higher rate of pay it is pretty satisfying to have completed the course successfully and it's good for my career to ultimately move forward.

So in the spirit of forward progress, I decided there is no time like the present to get moving. The Hubs is on the same page and plans to kick his act into gear this week physically as well. But as for me, I started running on Sunday and although I did not finish my first installment (a planned 30 minutes of interval training known as "Couch to 5K"), I felt pretty good about it. I still feel pretty good. Hopefully I will not succumb to injury or laziness. The picture below was taken right before I started my jog.

Bad angle, my legs do not normally appear to have fact they are quite shapely!

My new favorite place to be this summer has been out in my garden. I never realized what an earthly delight it is to watch your own food grow, through your own diligence and efforts. The kids have been so excited about it that they voluntarily started eating spinach. Right off the plant. If I was a man I might have dropped a nut in astonishment. But I digress! The next few photos are right from the garden. It got a little rocky about one month ago when cabbage worms started to take over, and I was forced to dust. I had hoped to avoid it by placing mantis egg cases in the garden to hatch but they took longer than expected. We did control the loss of inventory and I would like to introduce you to one of my new little friends, Melvin.

Melvin and his siblings are destroying the japanese beetle population in my yard, along with a large number of other leaf munchers! I now have sunflowers and basil to enjoy, not to mention the protection of the leaves on my peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc. Melvin is pictured perched upon a tasty Swiss Chard leaf. We have been eating salads of Chard and Bibb lettuce, and the occasional saute of chard in olive oil. So tasty and filled with lutein!
This is Melvin the Terminator!

Cabbage. Gonna eat this bad boy soon.
The cabbage above does show a small amount of leaf destruction from the cabbage worms but they seem to have vanished along with the broccoli...either from the dust or the vigorous attention of 200-300 praying mantis juveniles. We hatched 4 egg cases! Notes for next year's garden include hatching the mantis' earlier in the season, along with placement of a soaker hose prior to maturation of the plants.

Already ate this one. Yum.

Eggplant, soo tasty. Shared with my parents, delicious!

Harvested two of these butternuts on Sunday morning.
I am pretty excited to eat some butternut squash but am told they must cure for a week in a low-humidity, cool environment. So I shall stick them in the basement for a bit and update you all later. Stay tuned for delicious meals incorporating the butternuts as a puree, or as oven fries, or stew additives...

Tomatoes ready to go wild.
I have an almost worrying amount of tomatoes ripening on the vines. There is a large amount of Roma tomatoes pinking up, along with a healthy number of Big Boys getting bigger by the day. I am dreaming of fresh marinara sauce, stewed tomatoes, tomato sandwiches, grilled cheese with tomato, bruchetta, and possibly canning up some green tomato relish at the end of the summer!

Still anticipating a nice crop of cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, green peppers, and possibly carrots. I snuck a carrot out of the ground yesterday and it's already bigger than last year's crop so I may just have some normal sized carrots to speak of. We've been eating plenty of green beans every 2-3 days, they are so tasty and fresh! The 5-yr-old loves to harvest fresh beans every day, and I love to have him helping me out. Actually all of them, even the 2yr-old, have pitched in around the yard to help grow food. What a treat to have that time with my beloveds!

You might correctly suppose that we have been eating well lately, and it's true, but Daddy has been doing more of the shopping and he has a sweet tooth. Well, more of a generalized snack tooth really. So no weight loss despite the influx of fresh produce, because we have all been snacking. I stepped on the scale at work and was horrified by the number: 228. This is unacceptable. I think I am finally at breaking point over my weight. I am giving the running program 2 months to be successful and could really use some encouragement. You can follow me on Twitter @beckyaul76 and gimme a shout out! (I am kinda loving Twitter even though I said I never would!) Enjoy!

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