When the going gets tough

Chicken and fruit salad

Chicken and fruit salad

The tough go shopping.  Let’s see, I need new glasses, new shoes and a new desktop computer. Time to go to the Pentagon City Mall.  I can’t buy the first two without bringing my body into the store.  For the last item, I want the Apple staff to help me sort through the models, find something that will work with the peripherals I have, and compare prices (determine whether its better to shop online for the desktop computer, or buy directly from Apple).

Until yesterday, I would have thought Amazon was less expensive than anyone, but David made a trip to the local Pet Smart and found the same 20-lb bag of Kaytee birdseed for almost half the cost. He said it was the last bag in the store. We’ve been doing our best around here to feed the birds during this gosh-awful weather.  I know it’s colder north of us, but this is the South, and many birds come here to winter.  The migratory ranges of flora and fauna had been shifting northward for the past few years, so none of us expected the extreme cold.


My cold-loving peonies will do well this spring, if we don’t have a heat wave in April, but I fear for the Crepe Myrtle. Normally, the Crepes grow in Zone 8 or warmer, however, we are (have been) Zone 7A gradually shifting into Zone 7B (or is that the other way around?)…i.e., our climate is (was) getting warmer.  A cold winter about 30 years ago killed every Crepe in the neighborhood, but we all thought it was safe to plant them again.


Yesterday, I spotted a little sparrow under the bird feeder puffed up and trying to stay warm.  True, he was one of many, but the others were not fluffed up and were pecking away at the fallen seed on the ground, while he was barely moving.  Birds puff up their down feathers to stay warm when they roost, or if they are sick. I realized there was nothing I could do for him and had to leave him alone.  When David let the dogs out, all the birds flew away, and I didn’t see the sick sparrow anymore.  I was reminded of the passage in the new Testament about the ‘least sparrow,’ and felt very sad.


Last night I made a salad using a recipe from the Diabetes Forecast magazine which I can’t reprint (copyright), but is easy enough to make.  The ingredients include poached boneless, skinless chicken breast, a combination of fruits mixed with a dressing made from yogurt and lo-fat mayonnaise.  I used apples, grapes, dried cherries and apricots, red onion and celery.  I entered the recipe in the WW App on my iPad, and find it’s about 4 points per cup.

It’s tricky for me to get more fruit and vegetables into my diet…as well as more ‘good’ protein.  This salad works for me. A 2014 goal is to eat at least one fruit and/or veg per meal.  That’s still not five per day, but it’s better than it’s been.

14 thoughts on “When the going gets tough

  1. Gracious! I didn’t know that a fluffed up bird might indicate illness. I figured they were just trying to keep warm. I’m glad you’re getting some fruits and veggies in your diet. I need the veggies to keep everything inside running like clockwork. 🙂


  2. Happy shopping! Your salad sounds tasty and a good way to add fruits and veggies. I love fruit and veggies. Since I love everything else, too, I still have to struggle with balancing and limiting portions. Cheering you on as you keep up the good work.


  3. Poor birdie… it isn’t always easy being a bird watcher! My son actually buys his glasses from a website (after visiting the Dr for an exam. He just sends in the prescription. You have to get some kind of measurement , the one the optician does when you go shop for the glasses. And then walk out without buying the glasses. I don’t have the nerve. He said it is much cheaper.

    The salad sounds scrumptious… we try too.


  4. I just bought more millet and sunflower seeds for our birds. They are eating almost two cups a day of the mix.

    You surprise me about your lack of veggies. You seem quite healthy so I guess it’s not hurting you too much. I just roasted a pan of veggies–turnips, carrots, sweet potato, new potatoes–to have with a roast I picked up at Whole Foods this morning. Our CSA box has lots of root veggies at this time of the year so I attempt to make use of them. I juiced the beets, one at a time, last week. I do draw the line with rutabagas. I give those to my neighbor who loves to use them in a soup.


  5. Our local PetSmart stopped carrying wild bird food. I do order some stuff for the birds from Amazon that is cheaper than Wild Birds Unlimited. I feel so sorry for God’s creatures in this unusually long cold spell we’re having. So many of my blog friends are taking care of the birds and that makes me happy! 🙂


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