My tropical smoothie

Long ago I posted my two main smoothie recipes here, but I’ve slowly played with it and come up with another recipe which I’ve been stuck on for quite a while.

Leigh’s Tropical Smoothie

  • 1-3/4 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1-2 fistfuls shredded carrots
  • 1 fresh (peeled and quartered) or 1 fistful frozen sliced beet
  • 1 fistful pineapple
  • 1 fistful cranberries
  • 1 fistful mango
  • 7-10 strawberries (depending on size and taste) or fistful blueberries
  • 2 bananas
  • if you don’t have issues with raw greens and thyroid (I do) add a fistful of spinach, kale or other leafy greens
  • optional:  add milk of your choice (I use unsweetened almond) to thin it as needed or to taste

Put it all in blender and liquefy.  I put everything but the milk first and liquefy, then add milk (or if needed pour a bit out and add milk to thin the rest) and blend.  This makes about 48 oz and I use half one day and the other half the next.

If you’re missing one or two items you can obviously make do with just the rest.  I do variations, like replacing strawberries with blackberries, adding flax seeds, using yogurt instead of bananas if I’m out, or switching the cider/orange juice amounts, etc.

I quit putting raw greens in after I realized they tend to suppress thyroid, which is already a problem for me.  They’re okay cooked, so I use them copiously in soups and frittatas, etc. instead.  The main idea, as mentioned in the previous post, is to use the eat a rainbow theory for the smoothie.

It sounds like a hodgepodge, but it really tastes yummy.  Even my mother– whose main rule of eating is, I’m pretty sure, “nothing nutritious shall pass my lips”–loves them.

Share Your World Week 12

When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion.

Uh oh.  The last time I house sat in Marin — almost two years ago.  I’ve probably sat in my garden pulling weeds here in KY for more than 10 minutes at a time, but as far as just sitting and enjoying…  My hammock has been broken for a while and I can’t seem to manage to order the new swing.

I love being outside in Corte Madera most of the year — it’s outside the fog zone so about 8-9 months a year it’s 70-80 and lovely.

When I’m there, I’m outside for long spells every day.  I’m pretty picky about weather and most of the time here I’m not that keen to be out.

Would you ever be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle?

I avert my eyes even from surgical scenes on TV.  Can’t stand anything about it.  I knew at an early age there was no way I’d ever be a nurse or doctor—and then it turned out I’m lousy at math and science, so WHEW!  A perfect match of personal tastes and abilities.

Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

Sight-seeing wise, I usually take people out on the beautiful country lanes past horse farms.  One of my favorite areas is out by the Hunt Club:

We used to belong to Spindletop, a country club in an old, early 20th century mansion out in the country and I always took people there. When I was a child my grandmother and her friends would take me there to lunch — wearing their white gloves and their hats with hat pins. The ride out there is lovely and the place is gorgeous inside and out.

For dining these days I like to take people out to Windy Corner.  It’s way out in the country with great views to horse country in several directions — plus a delicious menu of fresh, often local, foods.

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

It would depend on my mood.  Joseph-Beth bookstore is pretty wonderful and I could go crazy for books.  They also have a lot of great bath, gift and houseware stuff.

But I think I’d say one of the big Neiman Marcus stores.  They carry a lot of clothes I like and also lots of home products that I like. And Cole Haan shoes, which come narrow enough to fit me. Actually I could say much of the same stuff for Bloomingdale’s…  So one or the other.  Preferably if I can have my shopping spree via the catalogs since I don’t really enjoy shopping…

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m very grateful last week is over.  I try to stay in the present and I don’t have much on the schedule this week, so I’m not really looking forward to anything.

For Share Your World

Blog Advice 1: Increasing Your Traffic


Advice that’s easier to follow than a lot of what I see about increasing traffic… Good stuff

Originally posted on Suzie81 Speaks:

imageOne of the most common questions I am asked by fellow bloggers is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult to provide a definitive answer to:

How do I increase the traffic that I receive to my blog?

Before I begin, I think that it is important to note three crucial points:

  • Building a following and, consequently increasing your traffic, takes lots of time and effort. You are extremely unlikely to receive thousands, or even hundreds of views simply by pressing the publish button.
  • Content is key. Well-written posts will draw new people in, and encourage them to visit again. Posting page after page of inspirational quotes looks pretty, but will leave your audience bored after a while. Be yourself, make no apologies and believe in what you are creating.
  • I am not an expert, nor have I ever claimed to be.

I know very little about SEO, so…

View original 1,500 more words

Share Your World #11

Bosko plays the shower spray as a harp

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


List 2 things you have to be happy about?

We went in five days from winter to spring.  My tulips and grape hyacinths are poking up.

I’ve always had a nice roof over my head and plenty to eat.

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise?

Depends what we’re talking about putting it on.  On hot dogs and hamburgers I use all three.  For an egg salad sandwich, just mustard (along with the mayo in the salad).  French fries, only ketchup.  On ice cream, none of them :-)

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

Since I don’t paint or draw I don’t think I’ve ever considered my childhood in terms of colors.  Some of it would be in pastels, with some sort of transparent rosy overlay — to represent rose-colored glasses.  With streaks of black here and there in the background; the secrets and problems that lay beneath.

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

Depends on the circumstances.  I LOVE baths, so if I have time that’s my choice.  I like to put in a couple of drops of aromatherapy oil and relax with a book for 10-20 minutes.

But in a hurry I prefer a shower.  The quick pace and the pelting drops can be really energizing so sometimes I love a shower too.

For Share Your World

Weekly Small Pleasure — Spring and Jazz

1. We woke up on Friday, March 6 to find 20 inches of snow fell over night.  On Wednesday March 11, I wandered around without my jacket, virtually no snow in sight.  As I wrote in a post on the other blog that day, I went home and threw some windows open to let the spring breezes blow away the stagnancy.

We’ve been able to open them briefly a couple more times — a little too cold for it really, but even 15 minutes of fresh air seems so great after an unusually long and hard winter.  Clearly I no longer could make it living back in Michigan, where I grew up, or in Chicago, where I spent many happy years.

2.  In my later clubbing days in Chicago I used to see a Latin jazz band called Chevere whenever I could. The band is made up of a bunch of top local–mostly jazz–musicians who play with other bands and/or or have solo careers and just come together periodically as Chevere.  Chicago has great jazz and this is a band packed with talent.

When I attended a big reunion of the old Amazingrace Coffeehouse a few years back, a friend told me Chevere still plays sometimes.  Yesterday I decided to check into whether they have any upcoming gigs (they do — gonna be trying to organize a visit to Chicago!) and found out they released an album some years back.  Downloaded it right away.  Haven’t had a chance to listen to all of it but I’m loving what I’ve heard so far.


For Weekly Small Pleasures

Share Your World #10

A diya - Indian oil lamp.

A diya – Indian oil lamp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?

I have a combo.  We have two battery-powered lanterns that give us enough light to read by.  We also have a couple of oil lamps that we light and put in strategic spots so we can get around without having to carry the lanterns everywhere and there are candles that we burn in other spots.

We’ve had a few times that ice conditions led to no electricity for 4-9 days so we’ve had plenty of opportunity to figure out what works for us.  With three different sources, we can be caught out of batteries or out of lamp oil and still have a way or two to get some light.

You are given $5,000 and the chance to exchange it for one of two envelopes. One envelope contains $50,000 and one contains $500. Do you make the trade? Why or why not?

I’m pretty conservative about money, not much of a gambler and I have a history of not great luck on such things so I’d keep the $5,000.

What’s your first memory?

Wow, I’m way too old to know for sure if this is the earliest but I have vivid memories of being about 3 or 4, having been given a tricycle to keep at my grandmother’s house here in Lexington (I grew up in Michigan).  I rode around and around in circles on the driveway, absolutely thrilled.

I blocked memories of most of my life before six, so that one has always stood out since it’s one of the only ones I have of being that little.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something?

It depends on the thing causing me not to sleep.  If I’m really really tired and just for some reason can’t sleep, I’ll usually stay in bed and just enjoy having my eyes closed and resting.  If the muscles in my face are yanking around (subject of many posts on the other blog) and driving me crazy I’ll get up and watch TV or read.  On the rare occasions that I can’t sleep because I’m worried about something, I’ll play the yoga nidra meditation–which is done lying down) to take myself into deep relaxation.  [I wrote a post about yoga nidra a while back]

For Share Your World

Weekly Small Pleasures

We had another wild and crazy weather week here in Kentucky.  Wednesday night Lexington got about 20″ over night — even in Michigan we would have been stopped for a day or two by that.

But before the bad weather hit, we ate at favorite restaurant Josie’s.  There’s a lot to love there but one of my favorite things is their weekly salmon special.  Nice fresh salmon with lots of variations on the prep plus two sides.

This time it had a bruschetta topping and I picked broccoli and sugar snap peas for sides.  Yum!  When I had the leftovers I added a portion of Trader Joe’s potatoes with parmesan.


We didn’t try to get out for a couple of days after the giant snow dump but Saturday my mother needed to go to a visitation so I drove her.  The temperature zoomed up into the forties, the sky was bright and blue and the lovely warm sun melted lots of the white stuff.  It was such a treat not only to get out but to be out on a beautiful day, driving on really clear streets (except ours).

We went to lunch after the visitation but hadn’t bothered to check about which restaurants serve lunch on Saturday (many of our favorites don’t) so it took some meandering around past clearly-closed places.  Normally that makes me a little nuts, but it was so nice to be out driving in easy conditions on a fabulous day, I didn’t mind at all.

For Weekly Small Pleasures

Share Your World #9

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

32.  Two main reasons:  (1) I really don’t feel my age; wouldn’t go back to painful points of young like high school or stupid points of young like….  anywhere in the twenties?  (2) It was a couple of years after that that problems with my health knocked me off my path.  In some ways I relate more to the place right before life stopped.

Are you left or right handed?

Left handed.

English: President Barack Obama writes at his ...

English: President Barack Obama writes at his desk in the Oval Office 3/3/09. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was just past the era when they tried to make you be right handed instead.  Fortunately an elementary school teacher threatened to make me write with a fountain pen if I didn’t quit turning my hand around (so I’d drag my hand through wet ink).  I’m so grateful that she got me to hold a pen and my hand straight, the way a right handed person would.

Through most of my school years we sat at desks that just had a partial desk to the side.  Most classrooms had at most one left-sided desk so through most of school I wrote with the bottom of my notebook resting on my lap and the top leaning on the desk.  Never have been able to tolerate writing for very long on a piece of paper or notebook sitting flat on a desk.

If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?

I kind of did already.  My first name is Nancy.  My parents are from the South-ish (Kentucky) and assumed I’d be called Nancy Leigh — but Leigh was my mother’s choice, she just didn’t like anything she came up with to come after it…  I related more to Leigh and for my 40th birthday I had a name-changing ceremony/party.  Once was enough.

English: Emma Goldman, anarchist activist and ...

English: Emma Goldman, anarchist activist and writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But if I had to go into witness protection and they just wouldn’t let me keep any of my names, I think I’d be Emma Goldman.  Partly because I always thought those 19th/early 20th century anarchists were kind of cool.  But mostly because of the mis-quoted remark attributed to her (she did say something longer that means the same thing):  “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”  I did name a cat after her.

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

I don’t.  My house is a big ol’ mess, my friends know it and if they don’t want to come to a messy house they don’t have to come over.

Too much to wrap my head around…

Since last weekend I’ve been reeling over a story that hits a bit closer to home than anything like this ever has.

It starts back in the 80’s when my aunt Mary Jane (aka Wicked Bitch) finally married at 62.  Fred was the perfect match for a wicked bitch.  He had two daughters, one who fit perfectly with the wicked duo and one, Sarah, who was the kind of person you liked the minute she walked in.  Sweet and nice and you wondered how she got that way.  I didn’t live here then and only saw the daughters a few times.

Last weekend, we finally got a bunch of newspapers after some days when delivery was impossible.  As she looked through them my mother suddenly called out, “Fred’s daughter Sarah and her husband and two children are all dead.”  Four obits with, as usual, no information about cause of death.

I figured whatever story led to the death of four people in one family must have made the news so I Googled the names.  No speculation we’d made — house fire, car accident, plane crash, etc.–came close to the horror of the story.

The Wednesday before Valentine’s Day, Sarah’s 16-year-old son, Jason, got home before the rest of the family and shot each member of his family–his mother, his father and his little sister Gracie–in the head as they came in the door.  He then attended a Youth Group meeting at his church, behaving as though nothing had happened.

Somewhere along the way he put his father’s guns in his mother’s car and started driving.  State troopers in the Baltimore area tried to pull him over  on Valentine’s Day for a traffic stop and he led them on a long chase.  Eventually he crashed and couldn’t drive on.  When troopers approached the car he opened fire.  In the shootout he hit one of the troopers (in the vest) and they killed him.

The only thing anyone knows is that his parents had taken away his computer and cell phone privileges and he was furious.  Otherwise, a church going kid who was in ROTC and had never seemed troubled.  If he left any indication of what he was thinking no one is revealing it.

I hadn’t seen Sarah in years.  My aunt died long ago and Fred died a few months ago so we were unlikely to cross paths again.  I never met her husband or her children.  But I knew her.  She was part of my extended family.  Suddenly one of those stories that normally seems far removed landed much closer.  I always feel upset when I hear about something like this, but there’s been an extra layer of shock.

While I have faith that the Universe always has a reason, this is one of those times I question what the reason could be.  I wish All That Is would send us a manifesto that explains why such events are a Must Have for life on earth…

All I can think of is to send prayers and Reiki to all those concerned — the two surviving children, the troopers, the souls of the dead… If you have a minute, maybe you can pray for them.

And I say the lovingkindness chant to myself as a reminder that at the center of everything is love.

Share Your World Week 8

English: San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge at night

English: San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge at night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

My favorite was pretty recent (possibly that just means I remember it better???) on Activism:

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? Why?

I’d love to take a few friends to French restaurant Le Deauville, here in Lexington.  The food there is wonderful so that’s a big incentive to go.  Love to share a great meal with friends who love great food.

Or buy a plane ticket to San Francisco– except in the end the trip would cost more like three times $500…  Some part of my heart never moved away from there…  I didn’t get to go last year, so I’m beyond ready to fill my spirit with the joy of being “home”.

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

My big question is so perilously close to “what is the meaning of life?” that it may violate the “anything but” rule.  Why did God/All That Is/The Universe create humans and earth?

Where do you eat breakfast?

I have a nest on the floor of the family room with a little lap desk next to it.  It’s near the TV, my laptop stays on the desk.  I spend way to much time there, including eating most of the meals I have at home.  My hips, which are inclined to tilt and then hurt, do better on the nice flat surface of the floor…

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My main gratitude for last week is that we made it through the winter storms and when the temperature dropped really quickly we didn’t wind up losing power for days.

I’m looking forward to continuing to breathe.  Inhale slowly, exhale slowly, breathe in serenity…

For Share Your World