These sunflowers can only mean one thing…

It’s JULY!!!!!  I’m not normally a “counting down” kind of person, but there are times when it’s good to check off the days that have passed as you look towards a big event in the future.  Have a big work conference looming in the not-so-distant future?  It’s probably safe to keep track of the time you have left so your deadlines don’t take you by surprise.  Maybe you’re getting married in a few months – with all the details to coordinate and logistics to consider, your head might explode if you don’t keep track of the days and weeks you have left!  (And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m talking about me.  Eeeeee!!) Imagine my surprise when I turned the calendar to July last week and realized 2010 is half over! The nerve of this year, to speed by with little more than a “Hey, ‘sup?” I mean really!  All kidding aside, crossing the year’s halfway mark gave me a moment’s pause and prompted me to take a look back to see what I’ve accomplished so far this year.  I may not make broad-sweeping New Year’s resolutions, but as I detailed in this post, there were a few small changes all of us here at Oldways were hoping to make throughout 2010. So let’s see how I’ve done…
  • Try a new activity – check!  I’m happy to say I’ve not only experimented with a Zumba class at my gym, I also explored a cardio step class and enjoyed both of them.  Due to schedule changes, I’m no longer taking either class, but it did encourage me to try out the weights and machines at my gym.  Thanks to a consultation with a trainer and a plan of action, I’ve been alternating my cardio routines with weight training and I have to say, I feel great!
  • Try a new food & try out new recipes – check and check again!  So far, I got to know rainbow Swiss chard a bit better and found I really like adding it to vegetable soup, or right at the end of a stir-fry.  As a kid, I turned up my nose at beet greens, but I’ve not only tried them in a salad, I’ve used them instead of arugula in this barley dish and been very happy with the results.  I also spent quite a bit of time experimenting with amaranth, a whole grain I had yet to explore on my own, and discovered I really like it puffed as a topping on salads.  Just this week, at the farmer’s market, I bought two of these little beauties:
Isn’t that gorgeous!?!  The little cluster of tastiness I’m cradling in my hands is a head of Romanesco, a relative of the cauliflower I’ve always wanted to try cooking on my own.  Romanesco always makes me think of fractal geometry, in particular, an edible manifestation of the Mandelbrot set. Can’t you just imagine an infinite zoom into those knobby little spirals?  I think there’s some butter and garlic at home, just waiting to meet my Romanesco in a skillet!
  • Try a new perspective – half-check, which means I think this one will be a work in progress.  I still find myself moving through my day at warp speed, so it’s really no mystery how July 1st could sneak up on me the way it did.  And maybe trying a new perspective isn’t a one-time fix, but an exercise in continually trying to see the world around you, to be as mindful and as in the present as possible.
  • Try a new kindness – yes, absolutely, check!  First, the two cat-shaped fur monsters in my house helped to contribute to natural fiber booms being deployed in the Gulf Coast to help combat the ongoing BP oil disaster via Matter of Trust.  And two weeks ago, The Man and I officially added one more fur monster to the household…

Meet our new adoptee, Lady!  We always knew we’d adopt a shelter/rescue dog when the time was right, and it honestly felt like she found us.  She’s an older dog so she’s lazy and calm, she loves belly rubs and carrot chunks, and although the cats are not exactly sure what to make of a dog in “their” house, The Man and I are smitten! Did anyone else run a “status check” at the year’s halfway point?  Are you on track  with your 2010 goals?  — Kara

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