Monday, April 29, 2013

Is asparagus good for us?

What are the nutritional benefits of asparagus?  The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board shares this information about asparagus.
1.       Asparagus is a vegetable packed with folacin (folic acid), thiamin and vitamin B6 and vitamin C. 
Our bodies used folic acid for making blood cells and preventing liver disease.  Folic acid is a big deal for young women contemplating pregnancy.  Adequate folic acid is recommended for preventing spina bifida and other neural defects in babies. 
   Asparagus only has 20 calories per 5.3 oz serving.  It’s a great source of fiber while giving no fat, cholesterol and very little sodium. 

We are enjoying our three-plant asparagus garden; it’s providing us with several tender, asparagus shoots every day.  If you’ve never tried raw or roasted asparagus, you are missing a treat.   Yes, it's healthy for us.  More information from the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board can be found at

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Do you eat asparagus?

Springtime is arriving in the Midwest and we are harvesting asparagus.  We planted asparagus plants three years ago. We followed instructions from gardener friends who said don’t harvest until the third year. This year we are harvesting. 

As a kid, I did not want to eat asparagus.  My only experience involved canned asparagus and that’s nothing compared to fresh asparagus.  My husband began roasting them and we’ve enjoyed it.  While in Arizona, my brother-in-law stir fried asparagus and other raw vegetables in olive oil and some spice.  Delicious.   Next time I share the nutrition information about asparagus. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bluebird Update

Bluebird update
Last week David saw a starling attack our mama bluebird and kill her.  With the springtime weather we had noticed both mama and papa bluebird building a nest in our bluebird house.  We just chanced to be watching when the starling attacked the mama and she fell to the ground, never to get up.  It happened so fast we couldn't help her.  Papa and other birds were all aflutter.  Papa flew down to check on her but she was gone.  We were bummed.  Life is hard for wild animals, even when friendly humans provide a house and mealworm treats.

However, papa persevered and within a few days he had found a replacement mate.  They are building a new nest in the bluebird house.  I suggested this was papa’s enticement:  “hey, honey.  I’ve got a great little condo and we can build a new nest.  The friendly humans provide meal worm treats.  What do you think?”  It was an offer she could not refuse.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Technology Etiquette

Does it irritate you when you find yourself listening to another shopper’s phone call while you are picking up milk, broccoli and pork steak?  You might not want to listen to that person’s conversation but seem to get stuck behind a chatty shopper? I recently read a great article about technology etiquette from the University of Texas Health Leader wellness magazine. 
We all love our smart phones and technology.  I’ve been guilty of talking on my cell phone through a one-store shopping experience.  I just had not considered how rude my behavior might be. 
The UT Health staff recommends four good suggestions for tech etiquette:
1.      “Follow the Golden Rule”.  How do you want to be treated?  Treat others in the way you want to be treated.
2.      “Wait a minute.”  Don’t send texts or emails until you check them over.  Autocorrect can easily change your words and the entire message.  If you are angry or upset, wait even longer and re-read your messages before you send them. 
3.      “Stop before you share.”  Remember what you post on the internet lives on.  Texts and emails can be forwarded around the world if the receiver chooses to forward them. 
4.      “Pay attention.”  People chat while shopping.  According to the CDC, many Americans talk on their phones and text while driving.  In our multi-tasking society, we can become very distracted.  Are we accomplishing more or just causing stress?

Thanks to the University of Texas staff, I’ve learned good lessons on technology etiquette.  How about you?  This article can be found at

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In the News--"The Driving Habit You need to Break"

Have you ever arrived at your destination and realized you weren’t paying attention while driving there?  You make the trip on ‘auto-pilot’.  We’ve all probably done it, but it’s scary to consider how distracted our thoughts were. 

Daydreaming while we drive is dangerous.  A study from the University of Bordeaux in France found that 52% of drivers injured in car accidents reported they were daydreaming while driving. 

The staff offers these suggestions for how to keep our focus while driving.
1.       Recognize that driving involves risks.  Paying attention while driving helps keep us safe.
2.      Add color to our rear-view mirror or dashboard (colored string, dashboard sticker) to remind you not to daydream.
3.      Keep your interest on the road.  Notice what other drivers are doing.  Is the guy in the red pickup veering into your lane? 
4.      Tell your passengers (if you have passengers) to speak up if they see something dangerous happening. 
Thanks to the staff for a great reminder.  You can find more information at