Archive for the ‘local markets’ Category

So, the saga of Brian’s toes continue.

Wayne had a callous that cracked last week. It was not pretty to look at, but then again, my toes usually are NOT things of beauty.

Then Monday, I noticed Stubby had a crack in the callous on the tip as well, plus Wayne was looking kind of nasty. I had an appointment to see the boys, so on my way, I called my podiatrist.

He could see me in about 90 minutes.

I did an abbreviated workout at the fitness center, went home, washed my hair, collected Supportive Partner Woman (Brave little toaster!), and went back to the Health Campus (or should I call it the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion?).

Dr. Miller was right there, and gave me crap about needing my Dr. Miller fix, since I had only been there the week before. He looked at Stubby first. He (Miller) wound up trimming the edges of the crack and gluing things back together.

Then it was on to Wayne.

Turns out, the reason Wayne was getting a little gushy was that there was a blood blister under the nail. So, it was off with the toenail. I do have some increased feeling, so it did ache pretty good, but I’m happy to report he’s healing nicely.  I was sent off without being sentenced to the Boot of Shame, but I was also admonished to rub my feet every day with ammonium lactate cream to keep the calluses soft and less prone to cracking.

See, Monday was an all-around lousy day.

Mom and Dad in happeir times

Mom and Dad in happier times

It was my dad’s birthday, and that’s always tough to deal with since he’s gone. He would’ve been 78 and I still miss him every day. Of course, tomorrow would’ve been the folks’ 43rd wedding anniversary. That’s also tough. It reminds me of the last one the celebrated. Dad was in the rehab center at the hospital and my sister and I brought in a nice steak dinner from a local restaurant, dressed in nice clothes and acted as the wait staff, even had candles. It was one of the last happy times… he was gone a month later.

Losing him to cancer has been one of the major reasons why I support many of the cancer charities. I’d give anything to have him back and if, through my efforts, I can save someone else from the anguish that I’ve been through, I’m going to do it.

Whether that be supporting the Avon Walk with my participation in Team AllEars or my newest endeavor, the Nerd Herd Racing Series (which supports, either way, I’m doing something to help others because so many folks have helped and supported me with my efforts against my own diabetes.

Now, many of you might be wondering what the Nerd Herd Racing Series is all about. Simply put, it’s a series of running (or whatever form of locomotion that you prefer) events themed around various nerdly events. The first race was the May the Fourth 5K (Star Wars), the second was a Happy Birthday Harry Potter 5K or 10K (Harry Potter, duh!) and the third will be a 5K or half-marathon to celebrate Banned Books Week (We’re talking really subversive stuff like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird).

I came late to the party, but there were a few slots open for the trilogy and I managed to get signed up for all three of them. Not only do the proceeds go to, you get some sweet bling to display. The best part is that you get a week to complete each event and you can choose to do it all at once or break it up into manageable chunks for those of us who are running-challenged.

Now, if you’re thinking these folks are small-time, well, allow me to enlighten you. The series (through two races) has donated some $10,300 to stupidcancer. That total is only going to go up. If projections hold up, the total should eclipse $15,000. That’s pretty good numbers.

Good people doing good work.

That’s the real lesson… do something good with your life. There’s more to life than petty jealousy and selfishness. Make an impact on someone else’s life. Even if it’s just throwing a couple extra dollars in the Salvation Army kettle or dropping your spare change in one of the myriad good cause cans at your local pizza joint. You’re helping someone less fortunate. Hell, by donating blood, you’re helping someone in dire need.

The Big Whoop

The Big Whoop

In other news, SPW and I managed to make it to Root’s Market on Tuesday. Managed to get some nice produce and some fresh turkey bacon. I have to cook that up (probably tomorrow) and see how it is. I’m constantly amazed by how much local food is available at Root’s. There are so many local farms and butchers selling fresh stuff, not to slight the folks making baked goods and the fast food-type places. We passed the “Big Whoop” which I thought would send SPW (Fan of Whoopie Pies!) into a swoon. It was the size of my head! Thing was huge!

P.S. I managed to walk 20 miles last week. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. Makes me think I’m going to complete that banned books half marathon.

Song of the Day: Tears are Falling – KISS

Currently Reading: The Book of Fate – Brad Meltzer

Current weight: 271 (109 pounds down)

So, I got the quasi bad news yesterday. I’m sentenced to the Boot of Shame for a little while longer. For whatever reason, the toe is just not healing fast enough. It’s showing progress, the inflammation seems to be receding (like my hairline) and things are generally improving. Just not fast enough to suit me or my podiatrist. Sigh. He wants to see me in two more weeks, which means two weeks I have to take it easy at the gym. I’m not ready to take it easy… I’m chomping at the bit to do some work. It’s been three weeks since my operation, bring it on!

Diamondbacks Yankees BaseballI’m feeling a little better today. I’m not quite as down on humanity as I was yesterday. I actually hate to say it, but I was impressed by the actions of the New York Yankees, a team which I pretty much loathe on general principles. They showed a lot of class in their public support of their Boston counterparts, even going so far as to play Sweet Caroline during the 3rd inning of the Diamondbacks-Yankees game. Way to go, NYC!

Bramhall's World - Boston NY - New York Daily News 4/16/2013I’ve been struggling of late to find good stuff to eat. I have plenty of ideas, I just don’t feel inspired to make any of it. I think I’m generally tired of my choices thus far… after all, you can only eat so much string cheese before you simply get tired of it. I’ve been meaning to make black bean soup, but again, just haven’t felt inspired enough to make it. Maybe today. Another case of General Malaise rearing his ugly head, I guess. This has certainly been challenging… more so than I expected. I’ll get through and get back on track. I always do.

In other news, I got my authorization to return to work yesterday. According to the docs, I can go back on Monday, the 22nd. They insurance people were going to give me until the 26th, but since that’s a Friday and I’m on third shift, would it make a heap of sense to go back for one day on third shift, then have two days off? I was like, “Screw it… let’s just go back.”

Supportive Partner Woman and I then went to Root’s Market. It was really crowded, which is usually the case on those temperate days. We scored some strawberries and I got a new belt. There’s an Amish/Mennonite leather goods stand that does real sturdy belts, custom fit, for a reasonable price. Not only that, these belts hold up. My last belt went through two buckles and the leather is still in pretty good shape. It’s just a little too big for me anymore. I also managed to do some closet shopping. I dug out a polo I haven’t worn comfortably in well over a year, which makes me pretty happy. It fit pretty much perfectly and it was a favorite of mine.

I even managed to spray the front lawn for crabgrass… I don’t know why I bother, it never seems to work, but I at least feel that I did it. Maybe this will be the year. I have to hit it again in two weeks. I know, big doings. At least I was outside and walking around while I did it. It was exercise of some stripe. I also think I need to patch and paint the walls in the laundry area, as well as put down new flooring. It’s looking kind of beat up these days. Yay! A project!

Anyways, I’m going to wrap this up. I’ll leave you with a really inspiring story that I came across published in Mother Jones. Well worth the read.

Songs of the Day: Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (of course) and Fields of Athenry – Dropkick Murphys

Crowds gather around the produce.

So Supportive Partner Woman (eater of big ole salads!) and I managed to make it to Root’s Market today. The place was hopping, pretty much as expected. There’s a certain beauty of the Root’s complex. Interspersed among the various produce stands outside are people selling all manner of goods, some of which are probably hot. It seems this kind of market is pretty well-established in central Pennsylvania. Discounting the real farmer’s markets and roadside produce stands, you have Root’s, the Green Dragon and Saturday’s Market. Of the big three, SPW (peruser of markets!) and I prefer Root’s. It seems to be more focused on the local fresh produce and dairy, and it’s physically the closest to us. Green Dragon, located in Ephrata, is not as nice as it used to be. There’s a lot more vendors coming in from out of the area to hawk whatever it is they are selling. Saturday’s is our least favorite. Again, it’s not as neat as I remember it being way back in the early 90’s. Lots of people selling junky stuff and not enough fresh, local fare. That’s important to me… if I can, I prefer to support the local economy.

Most baked good stands have an amazing variety of tasty offerings.

So, Root’s. We managed to find yellow zucchini, cucumbers, eggs, celery, tomatoes and passed up a tempting variety of cheeses, meats and baked goods. Oh, and we passed on the (likely) counterfeit sports jerseys too. There are a few pointers I can share, though. First off, bring a bag or two. Most stands will gladly provide you with plastic grocery bags. They are fine, but after an hour of walking around with 37 bags, you start longing for nice, wide canvas handles. We usually take an insulated grocery bag along with a cold pack, depending on what we buy. If it’s a quick run, like today, we’ll leave that bag in the car and load the groceries in it rather than lug the bag around.

Sugar free chocolate selections

Sugar free candy options

One thing I was very pleased to see, though, was a stand offering a large selection of sugar-free candies and chocolates. Given the obesity epidemic and the instances of diabetes in the US these days, it’s nice to know that even in an area known for such offerings as sticky buns and shoo-fly pie, the availability of sugar-free items is becoming prevalent.

In short, Root’s is a great place to obtain nearly any food you desire, many times for less than what you would pay at a grocery store. For example, the local Weis Markets likes to advertise green bell peppers at 10/$10.00. I got lovely peppers at a Root’s stand at 3/$1.00. That’s a 66% discount.  In addition, most of the food is locally grown on family farms, rather than mass-produced and shipped in. These markets are great places to find apples in the fall, peaches in the spring/summer and delicious meats and cheeses all year round. If you live in a place like Lancaster, surrounded by farms, why buy stuff shipped in from some other state, incurring the shipping costs, the chemical treatment and the fact that it’s often picked too early.

The bad news for the day is that I didn’t make it to the gym. I had a bit of a headache early and just needed to relax. I did manage to at least get my squats in, so the day wasn’t a total loss and I will take a lunchtime walk as well. I think we all have days like this and despite our best efforts, we just don’t get the work in. As a lot of people will say, “Keep moving forward.”

In a future post, I hope to discuss our first ever visit to Lancaster Central Market, as well as a return visit to Hoover’s Farm Market outside of Lititz, PA. Hoover’s has a nice selection of produce, as well as a great pumpkin selection in the fall and is home to crazy-huge potatoes. I also want to talk about the proliferation of Mennonite delis and markets, all of which seem  to thrive in the Lancaster area.

Hope you all have a great night!