Thanks and a Toast to My Dear Ol’ Mom

Mom at Mark Hopkins, San Francisco My 92 year old mom died two weeks ago. Like I mentioned at her celebration of life last Saturday, which really was a celebration of her fiercely independent nature, compassion for others, and gutsy expression of free will right to the very end, Mom was strong and positive role model, mentor, and darn good friend.  As I’ve written here before, she was a pioneer both in medicine and as a well-rounded, frontier-loving world traveler.

Mom celebration of life displayMom had some terrific lines she used to lay on us as kids – and even as adults. “Better safe than sorry.” That one usually prodded me to do something other than what was prescribed. “Always bring a sweater.” Mom knitted us some gorgeous sweaters as kids, and if one of them, like the one shown below, was on me when I walked out the door, great. Otherwise, I’d be ok. “Put a nickel in it!” I never knew where that came from or where the nickel was supposed to go, but my brothers and I sure got the intent whenever we “lallygagged” behind her brisk and purposeful forward stride.

Mom made sweaterBut the one line that stands out most now is, “Wake up and die right!” I found that line a bit odd in my younger years, but I sure get it now. It’s all about living life full-on moment to moment and doing whatever you can to make a positive contributing difference wherever you are.

Well, Mom, that’s the deal. I get it, greatly appreciate every moment I got to share with you, and will keep your spirit alive in everything I do!

Lots of love, Mom! Thanks and cheers!

Mom & whiskey sour toast



Kid-Friendly Power Cinnamon Toast – All in Pictures

Kid-Friendly Power Cinnamon Toast

This plain or power cinnamon toast step-by-step picture book is a great, very easy way to help empower kids in the kitchen and keep them powered up for a good sustained energy burn.

Here’s all it takes to put it together – and, as always, there are just suggested ingredients. Let your – and your kids’s – imaginations run.

Kid-Friendly Power Cinnamon Toast Ingredients Read more »

Grafton-Mendon Ride and Post-Ride Lunch

Grafton-Mendon Ride ShotsThe pre-ride breakfast I posted here yesterday (below) kept me going no problem for a big smile 48.7 mile ride with good biking bud, Ken, out through Grafton and Mendon.

Pre-Grafton-Mendon Ride Breakfast

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Pre-Rip Up the Road Balanced Breakfast

Pre-Ride Breakfast

Got a great looking morning with dry air and bright sun shining through the window.

Great biking day through the window

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Guacamole with White Beans – Great Flavor & Fiber All in Pictures

Guacamole with White BeansIn addition to tasting great, avocados are uniquely rich in heart healthy and anti-inflammatory properties. Here’s a terrifically easy, flavor and fiber packed variation on “chop & smash” guacamole that includes tips on using regularly processed vs. sodium reduced canned beans as well as how to check avocados for ripeness and/or ripen them as quickly as possible.

Canned Bean Salt Content & How to Ripen an Avocado

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How to Ripen and Cut a Mango – All in Pictures

Cutting a mangoAs noted in the article below, mangoes are considered the most consumed fruit in the world – and for good reason. They’re full of tropical flavor and rich in nutrients and fiber. For details, including mango health benefits and recipe ideas, click the picture below for a link to an April 2014 Medical News Today article.

Medical News Today Mango Article Read more »

Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Basil, and Feta Cheese Salad – All in Pictures

Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Basil & Feta Cheese SaladIf you’re a tomato fan but never tried a fresh heirloom tomato – and you’re fortunate enough to have them available where you live, have at ‘em! They’re awesome!

Heirloom tomatoes are tomato varieties of different sizes, shapes and colors that have been passed down from generation to generation to maintain their favorable flavor, color and texture characteristics. Heirloom tomatoes are most plentifully available at the end of summer and are best when they’ve been ripened on the vine taken fresh off the field.

Heirloom Tomatoes Read more »

Tomato, Fresh Basil & Mozzarella Salad – All in Pictures

Step-by-step picture book recipe shows how to make a tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese saladOne of my favorite late summer foods is freshly picked, richly flavorful, no-kidding vine ripened tomatoes. And one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is in the tomato, fresh basil & mozzarella cheese salad you see above, which is just as fantastically flavorful as it is quick and easy to make. Read more »

92 Years of Fierce Independence

Mom's Home & High School

Been a while since I laid down a word here – but for good reason. Right after popping off the last piece about the end of the Tour (de France) weeks ago, I flew off to spend time with my dear ol’ mom in California for her 92nd birthday.

Mom’s always been one unique and fiercely independent woman. She was one of the first woman radiation oncologists and always a champion for compassionate care. For the past three years, she’d been living with her now 93 year old, very spry, and incredibly supportive best friend in Laguna Beach. But just before getting to California two weeks ago – a trip my girl and I had planned along with one my younger brothers months in advance – my mom ended up in the hospital and then rehab facility due to degrading physical strength. Read more »

Tour Toast to Vincenzo Nibali – Sparkling Wine and Rum Punch Blast

Tour Toast to Vincenzo NibaliBy holding the overall leader’s yellow jersey virtually end-to-end, Italian cycling champ Vincenzo Nibali has more than proven his hard-earned magical dominant status this Tour de France 2014. En français: Incroyable (incredible)! In italiano: Congratulazioni, Vincenzo!

As a toast to Vincenzo’s victory, which he’ll nail down during the Tour’s final stage ride into Paris today, here’s a really cool drink that combines the crisp, bubbly flavor of dry Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) with the tropical flavors of rum and citrus juice: Sparkling Wine and Rum Punch Blast.

Sparkling Wine and Rum Punch Blast Read more »

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