Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hey Joe

This is a pretty dark Jimi Hendrix song. 
But, I'm about to talk about a happy and sunshiney place. Of course. By the way, when did it become such a bad thing to be an optimist? When did talking about good things make you a delusional crazy?

You won't believe what I'm going to say:
I had a lovely grocery shopping experience, and I was not in a local, natural, small-scale grocery mart.

I hate commercial places, and if I could choose, I would conduct all matters of business and life right on my pier, and have my groceries delivered to me. But alas, life would find a way to kick me in the tush, and I'd no doubt, soon be looking into the eyes of an alligator. Plus, I'd get hot. 

Commercialism in its finest. It looks like no one is shopping there, but I bet there were 700 people in this popular grocery store in Nashville. I just told everyone to move out of the way so I could snap with my phone. 
And so, I was in Nashville this past weekend for my sister-in-law's baby shower, which was lovely. I did not get any pictures, because there was a shower at the shower. But it was lovely, and the baby's-a-comin'. 

These people are probably going to sue me, thank God my blog is not that popular. 
I was dreading having to go to the grocery before my 6-hour trip home. Then I found a shortcut--Trader Joe's. Pleasant, fun music. Pleasant, fun plants. Pleasant, fun greeting cards. Pleasant, fun people. Pleasant, fun organic produce. Not too big, but big enough that I have been sustained through this week. Really crowded but easy to get around.

The best part--Trader Joe's is cheap! Compared to other commercial, large-scale grocery stores, it's like Joe is doing charity!

The guy who checked me out was really nice too. We had a deep conversation about his life, my life and everything that mattered to us. You think I'm joking but I'm not. He's from Washington, and says the best time of year to go to the Northwest is the summertime. Good to know. 

See? You get info you need everywhere you go. Life's always trying to hand you something, if only we were a little more open (Lesson for the day). 

Have a good one.

Liza Jane

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lively Up Yourself

Especially, if you got about 2 and a half hours of sleep. Especially if you ended up roaming around your house from 12:30-3:30, thinking about every person you've ever known, and everything you've ever done. Especially if your eyes sag, and your body only wants to slumber. Especially if your mind is as foggy as San Francisco. Especially if you have important activities the day after that nightmare that you actually wish was a nightmare--the night you hardly slept. 

You've got to lively up yourself. 

Summer is the the season of boat rides and Bob Marley.
I've been there, friend. In fact, I was there yesterday. You feel angry. You feel sad. You feel like crawling in bed for the whole day. But, you can't. We all know that a nap after that kind of night can really go awry. "Just 30 minutes." And suddenly, it's been 3 hours. You know that sleepless hell awaits  you tonight. Because you were stupid enough to think a nap wouldn't go wrong. 

So you don't take a nap, and you end up explaining to everyone you talk to that you did not sleep the night before. EVERYONE. Some stranger asks where you got that top, "Sorry. I only slept for three hours last night. What did you say?" "That'll be 17 dollars and 86 cents." "Ooops. How much was it? I didn't hear you. I fell asleep in my brain. I only had 3 hours of sleep." Everyone who talks to you sounds like Charlie Brown's monotonous, droning teacher. 

It is these days that you might need some kind of elixir to bring you back.
I wish I could sit here and support coffee, but I can't. I love the smell of it, and the taste of it.
But I know the effects, friend. Caffeine can overload the liver, and slow down its duty of cleaning the toxins out of the body. It also promotes stress hormones--the last thing you might need on an exhaustive day. I'm not going with tea, because even though I love tea, if you're looking for livelying up yourself, you're looking for caffeinated tea. 

So I propose:

Sort of looks like a superhero. 
Kombucha, baby. I love saying the word Kombucha. Sometimes I just say it because it's fun to say Kombucha. There are different brands of Kombucha. Reed's is my second favorite Kombucha. I also like Synergy Drink's Kombucha. Kombucha is a cultured, live food. This particular Kombucha is long-aged. All are raw. Kombucha has probiotics (good flora is excellent for digestion), beneficial enzymes (hhmm, once again digestion), vitamins, and organic acids that detoxify, energize and balance out your your body.

What's digestion got to with energy?

Everything. A large percentage of your body's energy is almost always working on digestion. What happens when that energy is free?

You lively up yourself. Bless all the Kombucha makers of the world.

I would love to create something that wakes people up. 
Liza Jane

Friday, June 14, 2013

Big Green Tractor

We are definitely at the height of greenness down here in Mississippi.

It feels like we're at the height of heat, but I know that's probably not the case. But it feels like it.
Actually, today it's breezy...and a little itchy (I got attacked by ants while I was playing in the yard--I'm actually not joking. This is true). 

The corn is high (take a look over yonder and see for yourself), and the cotton is popping up. Right here in the middle of June, people's gardens are bearing the fruits of their labors. (Not me, I did not have time so stop judging).

We're just tucked and nestled into this green sanctuary. Green grass, green trees, green plants.

I'm really excited because I look at the figs coming in on my fig trees, and I say out loud to any raccoons that may be around, "They're mine this year! Don't even think about it. I can get violent. I did not take a non-violent oath."

Anyways, celebrating this green glory, I want to talk to you today about Chlorella, kids.

Chlorella is a form of green algae. Get this: it is 65% protein. Boom. Yeah, 15 grams of protein in a tablespoon. Bam. 

I'll stop now with the onomatopoeia. According to Kimberly Snyder, Spirulina is a pretty cool sister to Chlorella. It's a blue-green algae that's about 60% protein. They both contain essential amino acids. They're high in chlorophyll.

They rejuvenate the body. AND they ward off energy slumps! Hell yeah for me!
So how do you get Chlorella? Fresh greens, baby. Or if you are an athlete or travel a lot, you can get organic Chlorella in tablets at your local health food store, (Whole Foods Store has 'em). 

Organic Chlorella by Green Foods. Got these from Lisa. Active enzymes, nutrient dense, with stuff like Magnesium, Potassium (Rock Steady baby). 
Green queen in the big, green scene.

Green is good. Definitely my favorite color. So I'm smilin'.

Liza Jane

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dog Days Are Over

No, my friend. They've just begun. That sun is hard and bright and scorching hot. 

But you know I adore the sun. Who doesn't like fruit and vegetables, having a tan, hot fun in the summertime? The sun is an important nourishment, no? The nourishment. The energy. 

We ask for it to come closer in the winter--but it's distant and far away. And then we beg for it to back off in the summer--but it's suffocating and stifling. In Mississippi, it can feel like the sun has wrapped in its golden fingers around you, engulfed you in its fist of blinding heat, holds you still, slows you down, turns your face beet-red. Makes it hard to breathe, fostering laziness and fogginess in the mind. 

Truly, the sun is only a broad-spectrum mother, bending and stooping towards the earth, giving attention and nourishment--vitality and discipline. 

This is the discipline part of her parenting.

So the trick when it gets really hot like this...

Even when it's 97 degrees, we've got to keep going, keep breathing. 

Keep your eye on the ball. Keep your eye on the prize, what you love, what you believe in.

Keep going. Even if it feels like you can't breathe.

Liza Jane

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Family Affair

Another road trip, another fantastic family gathering.
I know the photo below is a repeat. It is kind of weird how fanatic we are about this creature:

Loves to rest his head out of a window.
We almost get in wrecks looking back at how serene Jackson is when he does this. He's so zen.
 And oh, the magic of a pet-friendly hotel. Although I'm sure the scene below was not allowed.

Will hit it off with my family, whom he could not get to know at our wedding.
I said, "You're going to fit right in with my mom's side of my family. They're all big and tall, happy and laid back."And before I knew it, I had no idea where he was. He literally blended in with all the men. 

Football on the beach.
Aahh, yes. Welcome to the world's luckiest fishing village.
GrannE and her six children. My mom is the only short one (front, pink dress).
At Ashley and Mike's ceremony
It's a family affair. 
Gettin hitched. 
Standing around after the wedding. 
Will on a paddle board. By the way, I don't mean to brag, but I did it.
I did it for at least ten seconds. I was in Downward Facing Dog on the paddle board for about seven seconds. I read an article about yoga paddle boarding, and thought, that might be a nice way for me to conquer my fear of waves. I saw my opportunity and took it.  

Happy Mommie. I don't write that much about her, but she's a special woman, and I'm thankful to be her daughter.
Home again, home again, jiggity jig. 
As seen above, no matter where you go, sometimes home is the best place to be. That sunset over the bay got nothing on this sunset that greeted us when we got home. As soon as we had finished unloading the car, the torrential downpours began and a storm lulled us to sleep. 

As I said, nothing like a good rain in June. There's definitely no place like home either.

Liza Jane

Friday, June 7, 2013

On The Road Again

Excited to see family this weekend at cousin Ashley's wedding! 

And lucky to find a pet-friendly hotel on the beach so Jacksey can celebrate too.

He is just ready to get out of the car though.

Have a joyful, gorgeous weekend.
Just do it.

Liza Jane

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Natural Woman

Every time I see a conscious business, it blows my mind. Hence, Natural Grocer Week.
You know I gotta talk about it. 

I don't care if I'm in New York or Yazoo City, the intelligence of it makes me so freaking happy.

One day, someone said, "Hey, Liza Jane, you should know there is a health food store that just opened here in Greenwood. Since you're such a health freak, wannabe vegan and all."

They actually didn't say the latter mean part because most everyone here has tried to be nice to the new crazy girl in town who drives like a mad woman one second and gets all zen the next.

Anyway, you just know when a business is a good business. It's an energy thing. Someone in there truly cares. Someone in there is fully passionate about it. Someone is bubbly, bright and will talk to you about it all. That someone is Lisa. 

Lisa with her granddaughter.
All a business needs is one person like Lisa. Enthusiastic, real, and always trying to make you feel good, whether by organic, non-GMO food, or by just being super friendly. She is everybody's friend.

And the Whole Foods Store in Greenwood is the place to be because of her and her products. Everyone needs to know about eating consciously. 

So for me, my weekly stop-in at the Whole Foods Store is something I look forward to, not just for the roasted pumpkin seeds or well, let's be honest, the Barbara's Cheese Puffs (people change, but at the same time, they really don't), but also because Lisa is a friend, of the earth, of Greenwood, of mine.

The Whole Foods Store in Greenwood. Yes, I do realize this does not do justice but whatever.
I'm not a photographer, I told you this. 
Delicious ice cream and frozen foods, bulk foods, produce, natural/organic sweets (which are a problem for me), oils, etc.
Just ask Lisa.

That should be a Greenwood slogan. Somebody start working on the bumper stickers. 

Liza Jane

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Let It Rain

Let your love rain down on me.

Rain in June. It's what every farmer wants. 

We ride through the hills and bluffs at the very end of the Delta to get to Jackson. We ride through the hills to get back into the beginning of the Delta, about seven minutes from the homeplace. This is what it looks like to drop down into the topography:

Circling around the curve, looks like some clouds, rain?
Flatland ahead.
A couple of rain drops on the windshield there, although could be bugs.
Love how you just go straight down here like a ride. It's pretty steep, and
so neat see how the earth changes here. Crazy.
 Rain, rain, what can I say, come on now, and stay all day.

Down into the Delta.
Clouds, clouds, but one beautiful sunny spot, right over our land.
Prayers get answered. Rain in June.
McCarty wind chime puddle.

So the rain did come, and that means we leave the house, usually. Headed to the big town for to eat good food. This, especially, was good for Will. He is, after all, still a meat-eater. I do, after all, not cook meat, and usually put together a salad, and then something like broccoli with potatoes or rice, not extremely delectable, but fast, easy and healthy. A great restaurant is REALLY fun for us.

Enter: Giardina's. Est. 1936. Speakeasy type place with a wonderful group of friends.
Greenwood, Mississip. Great place. 
Speaking of Natural Grocer Week, Giardina's uses ingredients from local producers.
Will said, this morning, "Get out here and look at these gardenias."
Damn. Coming.
 Enter: Gardenias. Rain's other blessing to our lives.

I spend about fifteen minutes a day crouched down next to these little bushes. 

I don't care if fire ants are crawling up legs, there's a thorn in my heal, 
if a mosquito wants to suck my blood.

I'm breathing in and out, 
face buried in the etherial smell.

I just don't know what my favorite flower is
Green, gorgeous bush, low to the ground. We have more Gardenia flowers than ever right now.
The pure white, the sweet and calming smell, the starlike shape.
Will and I discussed them for 15 minutes, our favorite. 

They make me so happy. Wouldn't be without rain. It's true. It's a good thing. 

I am loving these pictures--it's like each bloom has its own personality.
I can't believe the purity of the white. And I wish we could do scratch-and-sniff on the blog.
Somebody invent it.
See what I'm saying? Personality. 
So grateful for any rain in June. I will enjoy every single pitter patter on the roof, window, 
what have you.

And every ounce of beauty it brings.
Liza Jane

Monday, June 3, 2013

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I pronounce this week NATURAL GROCER WEEK!

At least on this little blog about nothing.

I'm not going to sit here and act like I like grocery stores, at least not the Krogers and the Publixes. 
I was talking to my mother-in-law who said she gets mad if she has to go into a grocery store in a rush, because she enjoys it so much, and I was saying that I was mad I had to go in there at all.

But on the bright side for people like me who get hives when they grocery shop, there is a more pleasant, interesting alternative. 

I was a toddler when I started spending time at a natural grocery and co-op, called, understandably, Rainbow Natural Grocery and Co-op, and maybe that's where I was given the seed of my passion for wellness. But really, back then, I was only interested in Barbara's Cheese Puffs, which I still can't resist today. And they aren't good for you. But they're natural so whatever. We do the best we can.
Tight parking lot = great place. Although you might get stressed trying to find a spot for your vehicle, there is no doubt you will relax once inside. It's the energy.
 I remember that energy from when I was practically a babe. Calming, relaxed, present. You might say it was the laid-back attitude of the semi-hippies in the store. And I would say, you are right. Every business's energy is comprised of the people involved. That energy either attracts or detracts, plain and simple. 

To the left, the door to High Noon Cafe (vegan seaside
cakes on Fridays). To the right, the door to Fair Trade
Green. Compuer Co-op to the right, and Rainbow Grocery all aglow
 and lit up straight ahead.
So this co-op has, since my cheese puff days, grown and changed in a number of different ways. There was the move to the swanky Fondren neighborhood in central Jackson. The addition of the computer co-op, and the little store with fair-trade goodies and books called Fair Trade Green. Also the genius High Noon Cafe, which is where I have lunch with my dad every other Friday. 

There is a supplement room for the healing of health-conscious, free wheeling naturalists like me. Also, a deli. Bulk foods. Natural health and 
Mississippi's largest organic, natural grocery as of now. Consumer
owned and operated, dedicated to low-cost organic living.

beauty products (I bought some sunscreen that definitely saved my life), sheesh, I could go on. But we've all got things to do so:

So anyway, here's my point: the world is changing. But this place has been around since 1980. It was a child prodigy of the organic movement sweeping the country now. 

And I just want to say, let's support these places of our communities that are and have been dedicated to the health and happiness of the citizens around them. 

They were born out of the loving wish for a healthy, thriving community and a happy, sustainable planet. 

Deep down, that's all anybody wants: health and happiness. But health is the first wealth. 

Liza Jane