Thursday, August 14, 2014

TIGHT AND SNOTTY - at Motions Fitness

I have been seeing a personal trainer, Lisa, at Motions Fitness. Along with my faith in Jesus Christ, becoming healthier through working with a personal trainer, and the fitness experts at Motions has been one of the most amazing and transformational experiences in my life!

There is a bond between a client and their trainer.  Afterall, you are sharing about your daily life - your triumphs, struggles and frustrations.  The bottom line for me is being painstakingly honest, because this is it!

As we began our session recently, which consists of "sticking" your muscles and tendons starting with the neck and moving down, including arms and legs, Lisa noted that I was particularly tight.  I jokingly commented that no one had ever accused me of being tight!  lol (laugh out loud)

During the course of the workout exercises, I had a few moments of dizziness and when I told Lisa that I thought my seasonal allergies were kicking in, she quipped that she'd noticed a lot more snot these days, and that I just had it inside so that's why I was dizzy.  Another "lol".

There's not usually much time for personal conversation or jokes because we do need to stay focused, but by the end of our session, we had laughed a few times about being tight and snotty.  This is the only time I can remember those two words used together to describe me, and for the first time, about muscles and membranes (not personality traits)!  So go ahead, call me, "Tight and Snotty," and I'll answer!

Here is a motivational quote from one of the staff that really speaks to my situation:

Gary says, "Fitness Tip: It's not the length of time you lived that gives you pain and stiffness but the length of time you started slowing down or stopped moving because of a pain or because someone gave you the notion that you are "old" and that's what is expected. You can turn back the hands of time and begin moving again without pain and with good balance."

Until next time, keep striving!

Two Cottages And Tea: Special Pretties In The Garden

I just wanted to share this blog with all of you.  So beautifully captured by my dear friend Nancy.  Her pictures are so clear, you feel you're right there.  Take a moment to enjoy tea in her garden.

Two Cottages And Tea: Special Pretties In The Garden: Hello tea friends, thank you for stopping by!  Today I am sharing two special pretties with you.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


It's that time of year for the blues - no, not cabin fever blues, like the middle of winter.  It's the blueberry season in Northern Michigan.

I'm not a picker myself, but I've been blessed with friends and family who are, and who share a little of the North Country Blues with me.

A few of my favorite things to do with blueberries are blueberry pancakes, blueberry scones, and blueberry muffins.  When you add fresh lemon zest and lemon juice, any of these three baked favorites become even more delightful.

Perhaps you've only had the blueberries you can buy in a store.  I'm telling you, they are not as good and sweet as wild berries, and for some reason are bigger than the fresh ones.

I love the colors blue and yellow together, so blueberry and lemon - that's what I baked this week.  Thank you to Jan, and Nancy and Vi for bringing me some fresh berries.

This recipe for Cranberry-orange scones is from Tea Time Magazine, that I've used over and over, with my own variations, this time, Blueberry-lemon scones.

Sift into large bowl: 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour; 1/2 cup white sugar; 1 tablespoon baking powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Cut in 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, not oleo or spread. Mix with pastry blender, two knives or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1 cup fresh blueberries. Set aside. (See alternative method below)
Beat together with mixer or blender, 6 tablespoons of milk (could be cream or half & half), 1 beaten egg, and zest from 1 lemon (or 1 tablespoon dry lemon zest). Add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface (I use floured parchment paper), and knead gently a few times.  Roll dough into a circle, 3/4 inch thick, and slice into wedges, leaving circle in place.  Or cut with a 2 - 2 1/2 inch juice glass. Place on parchment paper or Sil-Pat mat on cookie sheet.  Brush with 1 beaten egg white and sprinkle with turbinado or white decorating sugar.  Bake 10 - 12 minutes at 425 degrees F.

If you want a sweet wholesome blueberry flavor, I would suggest folding the blueberries into the dough by the following method just before baking. The dough will also not be as dark blue as the scones pictured below.
Follow above recipe, mixing all ingredients (except blueberries) together, and turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, kneading gently 3 - 4 times. Using rolling pin, roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Scatter 1/2 of blueberries on half of dough.  Fold other half of dough over to enclose them.  Lightly roll dough again to 1/2-inch thickness. Repeat scattering, folding, and rolling with remaining 1/2 of blueberries.  
Roll the dough into a circle, slicing into wedges but leaving circle in place before baking. Or cut with juice glass into individual scones.  Brush with beaten egg white and top with sugar before baking as noted above.  

Whatever you're doing this week, make sure to take some time out for yourself.  Enjoy a cup of tea (Blackberry sage is delicious) and a blueberry scone!