Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Back to blogging!

Ok.  I'm officially starting up my blog again - really! There have been a lot of life changes since I last posted, not the least of which was a partial remodel of a portion of my house for my mom to move in with me back in the fall of 2012.   We have both settled in nicely now, and are enjoying each other's company.  My mom is also an avid gardener, and we have split up the yard - she gets the front yard (I'm no dummy - this is the most visible part, and it's looking gorgeous now).  I have the back yard and vegetable garden.  The trees have gotten larger and larger, so full sun is a thing of the past now.  We have learned which veggies will grow in partial shade - and tomatoes are one of them, surprisingly.  The fig tree is also thriving, and we actually got 15 figs this summer!  No photo, we ate them all as soon as they were picked!

Perhaps the biggest change has been that both of us have lost tons of weight and gotten crazy healthy. We have become "nutritarians", which is a mostly vegan lifestyle heavy on veggies and salads.  I have invented many new salads, and make all my own salad dressings with nuts/seeds/herbs instead of oil. Cooking without oil is not as hard as it sounds, and nut-based salad dressings truly taste better than oil based.  Definitely not a low fat diet, as the nuts, seeds and avocados keep us very satisfied.  You can even make a fantastic chocolate pudding with avocados!  I'll definitely share some of our favorite recipes here shortly.  You can find out more here or here.  I started eating this way back in 2012, and have never missed my old diet or the weight that went away, lol!  One of my favorite snacks is apples dipped in chocolate tahini and pecans, yum!  You can make the chocolate tahini dip by mixing together 4T tahini, 1T cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and about 1/4 cup of date paste (made by whirring up water and dates in a high powered blender).  I will say eating healthy definitely requires a high speed blender like a Nutribullet or a Vitamix.  I use the Nutribullet, which works great for less than half the cost.  Someday I dream of owning a Vitamix, though.

The next biggest change is that with all the weight loss and health, I've gone back to riding horses, something I love, but hadn't done for 30 years.  I have always wanted to be a serious dressage rider, and am well on my way to making that dream come true.  I'm working with an instructor once a week, (2 hours away, unfortunately), but was lucky enough to come across a wonderful horse farm only 7 miles away from me where there was a horse that needed to be ridden. I get to ride Cloud Walker, a 19-year-old Tennessee Walker as often as I want on 65 acres of rolling hills and woods. It is a perfect complement to the long hours at my jewelry bench - allows me to breath fresh air and get exercise that is actually fun.  Yes, riding horses is every bit as much exercise as going to the gym!!  You can see Walker here doing what he loves best - sneaking in a bit of grass whenever he can.

Jewelry business-wise things are as busy as ever, and I still have tons of stones and not much time to make one of a kind pieces with them. But....I am working on that!  Here's the stone I think I am going to set next.  Soooo.... that is all for now.  I plan to fit in a post here and there to share horse stories, recipes, and news from my jewlery bench.  We'll see how that goes, lol!