Friday, January 31, 2020

Going Local Series-Vending Machine Museum

We usually post a Garden Friday item most of the year.
With the garden sleeping,
it seemed like a good time to take a field trip.
You game?

We heard about the Antique Vending Machine Museum
on a local PBS show that features local attractions.

Located in downtown Granite Falls,
the museum is open most days,
but it's suggested to call the owner if you want a free tour.
The address is 30 S Main St, Granite Falls, NC 28630
and Alan Huffman can be reached at (828) 962-9783.

Started in 1989,
the owner began his collection with just over a dozen machines.

The most common machine advertises Coca-Cola,
but there are over 40 different types of sodas housed here.

Some are the cooler-type machine
with the flip or slide top,

and some machines displayed 
their captivating inner workings.

This machine feeds one bottle at a time through,
until it reaches the dispensary.

This Pepsi machine advertises a bottle for 5 cents.
Oh, those were the days, huh?

The more common multiple-bottle machines
allowed you to choose from an array of sodas.

Remember grape and orange NeHi?
Here's another machine that needs only a nickel
to give you a bit of refreshment.

This was the only pizza making machine we saw.

Remember when drinking soda was a once-in-a-while treat,
like going to the ice cream parlor or the five-n-dime?
I remember getting a soda and a burger every Saturday
after horseback riding lessons.
My diet's changed a bit since then.

This machine gave instructions on how to easily get the goodies.

Each machine was so unique,
and it was fascinating to see how they changed over the  years.

Not all of the machines are in working order,
but Mr. Huffman has a lot of experience in repairing them.

With over 700 vending machines,
this has to be one of the largest collections to date.
We enjoy seeing these quirky kind of places,
and reliving part of our earlier days.
Good to know that someone is keeping the past alive.

More in Our Going Local Series:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Gettin' Stronger Day by Day

Mark Lauren

 It's a new year and a great time to put yourself on the list!
I've been regularly exercising for almost 40 years,
and truth be told, I always loved elementary school gym.
Working out has always been part of my routine,
and a way of 
confirming my gratitude 
for the health I've been given.

With various ailments over the last few years,
my goal has been to increase my knowledge,
engage in healthier eating practices,
and find a workout that speaks to me.
Thanks to Mark Lauren's book,
that last objective has been easy.

Being diagnosed with osteoporosis several years ago,
I've been on a quest to remain drug-free
and deal with this illness on my own terms.
I have a fabulous doctor who respects my decision
not to take pharmaceuticals for this chronic condition.
Through diet, supplements and the right type of exercise,
I've been able to reverse some of the damage to my bones.
I'm not out of the woods by any means,
but I'm on the right track.

Body By You was an answer to prayer.
I was looking for a program that I could easily do
using my own body weight.
The exercises in this book accomplish that
and also require very little in the way of equipment.
In fact, the equipment consists of everyday items
you already have in your home, like tables, doors and chairs.
For example, push-ups are done against a countertop for the beginner,
then get progressively more difficult as you get stronger.
A chart in the book enables you to keep track 
of each exercise and your progress.
 There are variations on each movement,
so it can be custom-designed for each individual.
With plenty of pictures to guide you,
each pose can be modified as needed.
Another great feature is that the work out
consists of 4 exercises with just 2 or 3 sets of 12.
In under 30 minutes, you have completed your workout for the day.
For me, doing this workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday is perfect.
That allows me to include yoga on Tuesday and Thursday
and a daily 1-1 1/2 mile walk around the neighborhood.

I have been doing yoga and weight bearing exercises
for over 20 years, hoping to create healthier, denser bones.
When I knew my bone density scan was coming up,
my goal was to keep my numbers from getting worse.
This book is part of the reason that I've improved. 
If you're looking for an efficient, effective workout,
I hope you'll give this book a try.
(This is not a paid endorsement,
I just like to keep the good stuff moving.)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Garden Friday

bluebird house

 It's been a while since we've posted for 
Garden Friday.
Winter has hit us hard,
and there's not much to report.
Here's what's growing going into
the last week of January.

 The cover crops have all but filled the two new raised beds
they were planted in November.
You can read about that here.
They are one of the few green things out there.

 Of course, the garlic needs no attention.
It seems oblivious to our colder-than-usual temperatures
and the abundant rainstorms we've had.
We posted about planting garlic here.

 Surprisingly, the strawberries in the straw bales are faring well.
As I've never grown these before,
some research will need to be done.
Fortunately, the Cooperative Extension website 
offers plenty of information.

 These walking onions were gifted to me by a friend
and I have no idea how to grow them.
So far, they seem to be fairly independent.
Onions are one crop that I want to get really good at growing,
as we use them nearly every day.

 All I can say is bless the rosemary.
It grows in our area, regardless of the weather.
These are currently in the butterfly bed,
a space that they will probably outgrow this season.
One will be moved closer to the veggie garden,
and the other will be given to a dear friend.
Rosemary is a versatile herb,
making itself at home in soups, stews, main dishes and veggie sides.
Potatoes and rosemary are a match made in heaven!

The lavender is still smelling amazing!
This will get severely pruned back come springtime.
I recently used the leaves to make a homemade salve.
The hope is that it can be used in many more applications.

 The poor, pitiful parsley is struggling to grow.
This is one herb that I like to chop up and keep in the freezer
to be added to so many recipes.
The other main reason I grow it is because it is the host plant
for the black swallowtail caterpillar.
We do what we can to support pollinators,
even in the veggie garden.

 I had transplanted a few hearty lettuce plants
into containers several weeks back.
Someone decided that they were perfect winter fare.

 Even those transplanted into the hugelkultur bed
were discovered and thoroughly devoured.
So much for any winter greens this year.

 We've had SO much rain this winter
that all of the straw bales remaining in the garden
will definitely need to be replaced.
They've just been hammered.
They will be used for compost or placed in areas 
around our house that have no grass growing.

One bright spot was that I recently discovered these sweet leek seedlings
that had all but been forgotten.
They will get planted into a large container when the time is right.
It seems like a good idea to wait and see 
what the rest of the winter is going to do.
With everything so unpredictable,
it's difficult for a gardener to plan anything with confidence.
We are happy for any goodness that comes our way.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Not Chicken Noodle Soup-(gf,df,sf,ef)

The beginning of the year has been a challenge,
with a severe cold (sinusitis?) hitting me hard.
Down for over a week,
the best thing I could do was rest, eat right and rest some more.

This is one of the newest soup recipes in my repertoire.
It's hearty, comforting and really hits the spot
whether or not you are feeling your best.
It's a snap to put together and will keep in the fridge for a good week,
if it lasts that long.
It reminds me of pot pie, but it has the addition of pasta.
The bonus is that it can be made gluten-free 
by subbing out gf flour and gf pasta for those listed
in the original recipe.
I also omitted a couple of the herbs,
as I didn't have them on hand.
If you're under the weather,
it'll make you feel a whole lot better.

Creamy Vegetable Noodle Soup

2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled/diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 T parsley
1 t dried basil
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried dill
1 1/4 t salt
1/4 C flour
2 C unsweetened almond milk
4 C vegetable broth
2 T nutritional yeast
1 C pasta 

Saute veggies in olive oil 3-5 minutes.
Add herbs and flour and stir.
Add 1/2 C milk and whisk until flour is incorporated.
Add remaining milk, broth and nutritional yeast and stir.
Bring to the boil, add pasta, 
then reduce to medium-low and simmer 10-15 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Welcome 2020!

May your steps find you
right where you want to be
in 2020!