Posts Tagged ‘watermelons’

It’s the middle of summer already and a couple of 100+ degree days are coming my way. All this heat must be good for something, right? I’m taking advantage of the heat by drying my laundry in my oven-of-a-garage. I have five large drying racks out there and my laundry dries quickly and without wrinkles. Heat brings good and bad news for me; on the one hand, my vegetable garden is thriving in this weather, but on the other hand, it’s too hot to turn on my oven, so no baking for awhile. Haven’t yet convinced my husband that solar cooking is safe!

#1 – Desk Travels
Even though my international travels are done for the year, I can still see other parts of the world. The internet is filled with breathtaking snapshots of wonderful worldly sights, that for the most part, most of us will never see in person. Here are two photo essays that transport you to amazing sights without the need to leave your seat: The World’s Most Spectacular Roads, Vol. 2 and the World’s Most Extraordinary Swimming Pools.

#2 – Daily Limits
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my favorite monthly reads is the Nutrition Action Health Letter. Once a month it provides easy to read, relevant articles about nutrition and health. For example, are you aware of what the daily limits of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar are for a basic 2,000-calorie diet? With today’s dining-out lifestyle it’s easy to exceed those limits. In an issue of the Health Letter there was an article called How Many Sugars? that provided a breakdown of several no-no ingredients found on menu items from popular dining spots. Here’s a quick look at daily limits and a sample menu item from the article:

Daily Limit of Sodium: 1,500 milligrams.
One McDonald’s Sausage, Egg, & Cheese on a Croissant contains 1,250 milligrams.

Daily Limit of Saturated Fat: 20 grams.
One Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee with Cream Coolata contains 22 grams.

Daily Limit of Added Sugars: 25 grams or 6.5 teaspoons.
One Starbuck’s Green Tea Blended Creme Frappuccino with whipped cream has 13 teaspoons.

Choose wisely when you dine out!

#3 – Thumping Watermelons!
According to several sources (my local newspaper, produce guides, and my dad, a former grocery store owner) to select the best watermelon you must consider these characteristics:
1. Shape – Look for a symmetrical shape (no flat sides or dents)
2. Weight – Since watermelons are over 90% water, select ones that are heavy for their size.
3. Sound – Several sources recommend lightly thumping the melon with your knuckle and listening for a hollow sound.
4. Appearance – Besides being firm and having a dull-colored skin, look for the spot where it sat on the ground. This area should be creamy yellow and it indicates the melon was vine ripened.

#4  – Mindless Computer Doodling
Sometimes when I have writer’s block, I look for interesting ways to refocus. I found this site that allows you to spend endless, mindless minutes doodling. The fun part is that the colors change on their own as you scribble and the squiggles move constantly. All you have to do is move the finger icon/cursor around. After doodling for a couple of minutes, I was back to writing!

#5 – Set Sail
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– Mark Twain

Set your sails this weekend to explore, dream and discover!

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