2 Grandmas and a Microphone.

It is strange to write the title 2 Grandmas and a Microphone, and know that I am talking about myself. When I think about OutdoorFit, women over 50 are my target market. Most of the women in my group are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s! It is all quite incredible. Not all of them are Grandmas but they are in the age range. My job is to inspire these women to be fit and healthy. I know being strong, healthy and fit energizes  your life.

Last week, I had coffee with Vicky Perry who is a very wise Grandmother. We had such an interesting conversation, that Vicky encouraged me to write about it. I opened up about my feelings about voting, the presidential election, and why I couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the last election. I learned a lot about myself from writing the post. I ended the post writing about the power of the Grandmother, which is something I hadn’t thought much about before.

I received so many wonderful emails and comments about the post that I wanted to continue. I decided to ask Vicky to do a video with me to take our conversation even deeper. Vicky brought up the importance of taking the time to know your own values and to think about which candidate best represents those values.

I could have just as easily titled the video The Wisdom of The Grandmothers.

“My Mother told me to be a lady. And for her that meant  be your own person, be independent.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A powerful cup of coffee with a friend.

Today, I had coffee with a friend. We sat on a bench overlooking a marina on the Shrewsbury River. I noticed there was a small boat with a Trump, “Make America Great” Flag. This started an interesting conversation about having a voice and voting.

I decided to open up to my friend. I knew she would still be my friend at the end of the story. It is not an easy one to tell. Here goes. President Trump has changed my life. I have never paid much attention to politics. To tell you the truth, most of the time I would ask my very smart husband who he was voting for. I would ask how are you answering the questions on the ballot. He would reply something like,Yes, Yes and No for the third one. I trusted Dan’s judgment. He is very detail oriented. I would usually vote the same way because I knew he had done his homework.

Dan and I didn’t agree on the Presidential election 4 years ago. There was a part of me that just couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. My friend asked me “why I couldn’t vote for her and I could vote for Trump”. That was a hard question to answer. I realized that I look to men for leadership more so than women, I am embarrassed to admit.  I was appalled when Hillary said you could put half of Trump supporters into the basket of deplorables. However, when Trump imitated a person with cerebral palsy and called people stupid I let that slide. Why? Do I expect more empathy and compassion from a woman? Probably so.

I have changed quite a bit in the past four years. I no longer ask my husband how he is voting. Dan was never comfortable with the situation. I guess he put up with it because he loves me.  I am no longer a Republican. I am now registered as an Independent. I don’t want to be affiliated with either party. I am paying attention. I care about this country. I care about climate change and renewable sustainable resources. I care about the quality of our food sources. I care about medical freedom and being able to choose what is best for my body.  I want a President with integrity who prioritizes all of those issues as well.

Knowledge can come from unexpected sources.  I am grateful that I have started to pay attention and I learn from my mistakes. It is important.

I will be open to voting for a woman. The best idea might just be to elect Grandmothers to run the world! A Grandmother is wise and knows how to speak her mind. She can be tough and would think long and hard before sending her grandson and granddaughter off to war. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Love,

Mary

“A vote is never an intelligent vote when it is cast without knowledge. Just doing what someone else tells you to do without any effort to find out what the facts are for yourself is being a poor citizen.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Homemade Mayonnaise.

I have been working on making homemade mayonnaise without much success. Honestly, I almost gave up. I am so glad that I didn’t.  Last week, I mentioned my mayo problem at OutdoorFit. Andrea said she found a great easy recipe on The Movement Menu, that comes out  every time.

I was out of mayonnaise this morning. I wanted to make a cucumber basil avocado salad for lunch. I tried The Movement Menu’s recipe. It is a winner!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced, or I used 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.

Instructions

  • In a glass jar or a 1 cup glass Pyrex cup, (the container matters. It should be narrow so the blender fits snugly) pour in the avocado oil. Add the egg to the oil and let the ingredients settle for 1 minute. I then added the rest of the ingredients to the cup.
  • Take an immersion blender and let it touch the bottom of the container, piercing the egg yolk completely.
  • Turn the immersion blender on and leave it on the bottom for about 20-30 seconds, until the whole bottom has turned white in color.
  • VERY SLOWLY lift it up to continue emulsifying. This process should take anywhere between 30 seconds to 1 minute. Continue blending until the mixture has thickened to your desired amount.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

 

cucumber basil

Cucumber Basil Avocado salad with homemade mayonnaise.

Get out the Rolling Pin! Alice’s Flatbread.

I have been cooking from Alice Waters’, My Pantry. Normally, I am thrilled if I can find 3 recipes in a cookbook that I enjoy. I’ve already found 3 in Alice Waters’ book, and there are so many more I want to try. They are great and easy to make. Last week, it was Oat Pancakes. This week it is all about flatbread! I don’t eat much bread. On the weekends, I might enjoy it as a treat. I love making my own because there are no plastic bags involved and of course it is delicious!

Sunday, we had pulled organic chicken and flatbread for dinner.

Here is Alice’s recipe.  

Alice encourages you to try different flours. I used organic white. It is really important to buy organic flour. (You don’t want your flour sprayed with glyphosate.) Spend a few more dollars, support the organic farmers and yourself!

2 cups flour

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup warm water

3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together. Stir in the water and the oil. Knead briefly to form a soft moist dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Do you have a rolling pin? It is time to get it out!  Divide the dough into 16 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a 3 x 6  inch oval. My flatbread didn’t roll into perfect 3 x 6″ ovals. It is okay.

Alice uses a cast iron pan and medium heat to make her flat bread. I used my griddle and it worked fine. Cook 2 minutes, flip and cook 2 more minutes. Wrap flatbread in a kitchen towel to let the bread moisten with the steam.

I put my leftovers into a glass pyrex dish.  They were all gone the next day.

Enjoy!

Mary

“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”

I love Alice’s Oat Pancakes!

I love when I make something new and the first bite makes me stop and say; “Oh my God this is so delicious!” This does not happen to me enough. Last Sunday morning, I made Alice Waters’ Oat Pancakes. I stewed fresh organic blueberries along with a few strawberries to go on top. Of course, first I smeared the pancakes with grass fed butter. It was SO Delicious!

Here is the recipe which is in Alice’s book My Pantry. 

Oat Pancakes (makes 8-3″ pancakes)

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup milk or almond milk

1 large egg

3 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil or butter (or a combination), melted

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

Put the oats in a blender and blend 20 to 30 seconds until it is a fine powder. You will have 3/4 cups of oat flour.

Beat the milk and egg together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted oils. (I used a combination of butter and coconut oil.) Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to thicken. ( I didn’t do that and they came out fine. Who can wait that long for pancakes?)

Heat the griddle over medium high heat. Grease lightly with oil or butter and spoon on the batter about 1/4 cup. Cook the pancakes.

I use only organic ingredients. I buy my eggs from a local farmer. I don’t eat many grains, but these were worth it, and a better substitute than white flour. Alice Waters’ oat pancakes were the perfect Sunday breakfast.

“Homemade Ingredients that Make Simple Meals Your Own.”

 

 

Simplicity

 

Simplicity is  my favorite word. There are many wonderful words but, if you were to ask me my favorite I would answer simplicity.

When my stress level is high, and life feels uncertain, I start physical projects. In January, I began painting our house shades of white . I have continued on during the pandemic. I finished the kitchen, mudroom, den, hallway, bathroom and even the basement stairwell.  My husband Dan polished all of the brass door knobs. It feels so much better. I have decluttered along the way. I am working on keeping what is functional and what I love.

Simplicity

I am now working out in the garden. I planted lettuce, arugula, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and wildflowers. Today, I am heading out to plant potatoes. I don’t get a lot of sun in the back yard, so I ordered fabric grow bags. I have a walkway alongside the garage that gets all day sun. It is my new garden. So exciting!

Simplicity

I watched a Master Class with gangsta gardener Ron Finley. He plants sweet potatoes in coffee bean bags. I called Booskerdoo in Asbury Park and picked up a few jute coffee bean bags for myself and two of my gardening friends. I am waiting for my sweet potatoes to grow slips so I can plant them.  I will keep you posted! Today, I planted potatoes in the coffee bean bags. I couldn’t wait for the sweet potato slips. I will find another place for them.

Simplicity

I also bought Alice Waters My Pantry after watching her Master Class. I loved her class. She inspires you to cook fresh whole organic in season food from your local farmer, or just grow your own. Plant potatoes into a coffee bean bag and wait for the magic to happen.

Simplicity

“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mary

A Touch of Craziness!

I have been feeling antsy lately. Is what I am doing important? Is this how I want to spend my time, or should I be doing something else? Sometimes I feel like I want more for myself. When I stop and really think about it, I realize I do want more. I want to create more space in my life. I want more quiet time. I have decided that following my joy is the answer. I love to stay home. I enjoy doing my own work. Painting the kitchen different shades of white makes me happy. It feels like a work of art to me. This week, I washed and ironed our linen bedroom curtains, composted, and made roasted pepper and tomato soup. I also taught 3 OutdoorFit classes. I have a great group of ladies, all over 50, who show up in crazy weather to workout. A cold and windy OutdoorFit workout brings me joy and happiness. I love the touch of craziness.

Earlier this week, I went to my friend Diane’s  house  to pick up 2 bags of composted leaves. Does that sound like an odd way to spend your time? Diane sold her beautiful home.  She is moving to an 11 acre lot to build a passive home and grow organic vegetables.  She didn’t think the new owners would appreciate her large composted leaf pile. She sent me a text, inviting me to stop by and help myself. I was so excited.

I went back the next day, and picked up 2 galvanized tubs full of compost. Why does this make me happy?

  • I love the connection with my friend.
  • I love the touch of craziness about it.
  • I love that the composted leaves will attract earthworms to my gardens. They are an indicator and creator of healthy soil.
  • I love the efficiency of using leaves to make compost for your gardens.

Gardening season is coming soon, but I really would love a good snow storm first.

Embrace your joy, step aside and watch what happens! It is contagious. What do you love to do? How do you like to spend your day? Would you like to connect with amazing women who love a touch of craziness? Come try an OutdoorFit workout! There is a fun class Saturday morning at 7:30.

Love,

Mary

My pitchfork is over 70 years old. It belonged to Dan’s Grandfather. A treasure!

 

 

I have never been much of a planner.

I have never been much of a planner. When Dan and I were thinking about getting married, my Mom asked me for a month’s notice. So that is what we did and my Mom pulled it off. She is an amazing person. She made my dress and planned a lasagna dinner at the house for our reception. It all worked out fine.

I avoid planning trips. It makes me nervous to schedule a trip 6 months from now.  If it wasn’t for Dan I wouldn’t have gone skiing in Switzerland or Colorado. I would have chosen to stay home and bought a new dishwasher.  I want to see Mount Rushmore, but it is not going to happen if I don’t make a plan.

I am working on changing. I now feel the need to be more focused. I joined Origin last summer. Origin is Kate Northrup’s membership group, which stresses doing less by getting very focused on what you want to accomplish.  She also teaches us the importance of listening to your body and paying attention to your cycle or the cycle of the moon. I no longer have a cycle, so it has been very interesting to plan my month around the cycle of the moon. I write down my intentions on the New Moon and create a weekly, daily, and monthly plan to achieve it. I bought Kate’s do-less planner to organize things.  Every morning, I write down the cycle of the moon, what is going on astrologically, and what I need to focus on that day. It has been a very helpful practice.

For example, if I write down paint kitchen ceiling, I paint the kitchen ceiling that day. I have also learned you can accomplish things in a short period of time. I do a little bit every day and then by the end of the week my kitchen is painted! I learned that from my Mom too. There were 8 kids in my family and my Mom had a very busy day. She decided to wallpaper the dining room and she would hang one piece a day. I thought she was a bit crazy at the time. Now, I understand.

I wrote down create blog post, do 8 rounds of 8 point planks and paint the kitchen trim today in my planner. I am off to paint the trim Chantilly Lace!

I hope this was helpful to you. Are you a planner? Do you plan your meals for the week? How about when you are going to go grocery shopping? I would love to hear you how you plan your day.

Love,

Mary

vw

Our wedding car was my 1967 VW Beetle.

Giving up my nightly glass of wine.

Friday on the New Moon, I began my 28 Day Fit and Fabulous Program. I was excited to start on the New Moon. It is a great time to set your intentions, consider what you want in your life, and what you need to let go of.

The first 7 days of the program, you have to let go of alcohol, sugar and grains. You can have dairy, but very little. I thought it would be perfect to start on a Friday. You are always more motivated in the beginning of a program, and the weekends can be a challenge. The biggest issue for me is to give up my nightly glass of wine.

By Friday afternoon, I could feel the stress and agitation building because I knew I wasn’t having a glass of wine that evening. It is amazing how much power one glass of wine has over me. I was painting the trim in the mudroom, while listening to a podcast called Sober Curious, to motivate me. Saturday and Sunday were easier. I took a nap Saturday and meditated on Sunday. I also took late afternoon walks on both days. All of these things are great stress reducers. Now, we are on Day 4, and… BIG NEWS! I noticed that my hands aren’t achy. My diet is usually very clean. Making a few small changes like giving up my nightly glass of wine and crumb cake at coffee hour on Sunday have reduced the inflammation in my body and my hands feel just fine.

I was at a New Moon dinner Friday evening. It is always a big deal to get myself to go out at night, but I went. There was a woman complaining about her aches and pains. I felt like telling her to put down the wine and quit eating grains and sugar. Statements like that don’t go over to well at a party. Maybe she will read this blog post.

What you put in your mouth really does matter. Everything, I eat or drink for the next 7 days will nourish me. I am grateful for that!

Love,

Mary

A White House.

I have been dreaming about having an all white house. I follow Jenni Kayne on Instagram. Her houses are basically white with natural wood. They feel clean, soothing and minimal.  I would love our house to feel that way, so I started painting. My kitchen and the room off the kitchen are painted  linen white. We bought a new refrigerator in December. Keeping with the theme, I decided to go white.  Now, I feel like I need to add different shades of white to make the refrigerator look more at home. We call the room off the kitchen George’s room after George the dog. We don’t have a dog right now so maybe it is the mud room. I always wanted a mud room. I painted the ceiling antique white. The walls are mayonnaise and the trim will be Chantilly lace. They are all Benjamin Moore colors. I think I might be nesting. Is a dog coming to live with us soon?

I am working on painting a few hours a day, so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I can clean up at the end of the day before Tom gets home. Today, I was running a few minutes behind and Thomas got home before everything was in order. Tom, as many of you know has special needs. He likes his routines and everything in place. He wants to help and he keeps at me until everything is in order. It can be very annoying. My friend Ivone keeps telling me to remember peace and serenity. The minister at church on Sunday talked about being the light and sending love. Thomas went to Sunday school and they made heart cookies. He told me he is sending love. How quickly, it can all fall apart over wet paint and a ladder.

Tomorrow, I am applying a second coat of mayonnaise paint.  My goal is to have it done before Thomas gets home. Do you think I will start craving tuna salad living with walls called mayonnaise?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Mary