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Sixty @ Sixty

Yes, sixty years young, today. This is one of those significant birthdays. Worthy of doing something different to commemorate.

I recall one of my fellow volunteers talking about traveling to celebrate a milestone birthday. Something like 50 days for the 50th birthday. We traveled way too much when we worked. We are really enjoying our surroundings and doing things we never got to do while we were in the work force.

So, I decided. Sixty is, of course, six decades. Six times ten. Six things, ten times. Or, ten things six times. I settled on more experiences with less to accomplish in each. It looks simpler to do. We shall see. I have been doing research already to find things that interest me.

sixty sixty 006

This year, no New Year’s Resolutions, just the pursuit of these stretch goals, for lack of a better descriptor. Some are fun, some may be difficult. If I enjoy this journey, I may make it into a page. A journal of sorts. Since I am an avowed locavore, locapour, and still a foodie, many involve cooking, eating, gardening, farming, the county and nearby places.

dessert wine and trip to VA 150

My list —

Visit six festivals and/or fairs that are new to me
Taste at six new wineries never visited before
Seek out six new farmstands or markets to expand my locavore network
Do something different or visit someplace new in six states other than MD
Eat at six small business restaurants and/or diners
Eat/drink or experience six childhood memories
Log six new birds not seen before
Cook and eat six new proteins, i.e., meat, seafood, beans or nuts
Grow and/or eat six exotic fruits, veggies or herbs
Tackle six rightsizing projects

Some are self explanatory but others will take some initiative. Rightsizing projects include things we inherited from our families and things we accumulated over our 60+ years. Things like pictures, CDs, books, tools, clothes, shoes, whatever lurks in closets and cabinets. Having the space here makes it one of those often avoided projects.

The childhood memories include things like — riding a ferris wheel again, or a merry go round, or eating cotton candy, or a root beer float. Things we did as kids.

fair and anniversary and csa 083

For my first project, my husband bought a pomegranate at Wegmans yesterday. I have had pom juice, and pomegranate balsamic, but never tried getting the seeds out and using one in cooking. Tonight’s salad will have pom seeds on it. Maybe using my fennel we bought, and oranges. I am making my own birthday dinner, doing things I want to eat. Rockfish. Salad. Roasted cauliflower. None of it hard to make, and no worries about driving in the slush/snow/ice/whatever we have on the ground tonight.

It is still snowing out here. The red bellied woodpecker and one of the squirrels were out there chowing down this morning while I was prepping the fish in a marinade.

sixty sixty 010

This is a new young red bellied woodpecker, who is more skittish than the older ones are. He bolts when he sees the reflection of my camera. As for the acrobatic squirrel, he is lucky today. I don’t have the two layer baffle system on the large suet holder, and he can defeat just one. Besting the squirrels is a major undertaking here. Or, at least keeping them under control.

Who knows what this year, 2013, will bring to us here. I do know I intend to make it somewhat memorable, and certainly don’t intend to be bored.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

17 responses »

  1. Happy Birthday! Enjoy that rockfish & I can’t wait to read about your adventures!

  2. ARD,

    Happy Birthday!


  3. Happy birthday! Your goals seem really fun–6 new proteins, dang that sounds hard! Hope you have a wonderful evening!

  4. Thanks, all, for the birthday wishes. We are just finished dinner, and there will be a post. The better half had roses and chocolate covered strawberries delivered.

    One interesting aspect of getting older, is eating earlier. Eating too late means an uncomfortable night with heartburn, or worse. Need that three hours or more before bed time.

    Now I get it why older people like those specials in the restaurants! 😉

  5. Happy Birthday!

  6. Happy birthday! Great list!

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  8. I really like your list. it will be fun to read about it as the year goes on.

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  11. Fun idea!
    Suggestions for the six stretch challenges

    Visit six festivals and/or fairs that are new to me
    –Asheville, NC street festival
    –Taste of Cincinnati
    –Virginia Beach, VA boardwalk festival, early to mid July, see especially the booth with bread knives.
    –Virginia Beach, VA area strawberry festival—it might actually be in Pungo
    –Gilroy Garlic festival
    –Seed Savers Exchange campout, Decorah, Iowa, July
    –Nordic Fest, Decorah, Iowa, usually the weekend after Seed Savers. If you try now you have a good chance of getting rooms.
    –Bakers Creek seeds festival
    –Attend Pennsic—a middle ages reenactment camp in Western PA. Great music, theater, food, classes, evenings by the campfire. Like traveling through time, but without the plagues.
    –Seagrove, NC Pottery festival
    –Dutch oven group (DOG) festival/camout

    Taste at six new wineries never visited before
    –Viansa winery, Sonoma CA area—and get food from the deli and have a picnic on the covered patio overlooking the wetlands. Interesting birds.
    –Biltmore winery, Asheville NC area.
    –Clos Du Bois Winery, Sonoma area. Try the Marlstone.

    Seek out six new farmstands or markets to expand my locavore network
    –Papa Johns. 100 east to 97 south. Exit 12 west. Turn right/west. On your left at the light. Fabulous strawberries and many other items.
    –Annapolis at Riva road Saturday farmer’s market
    –Davis, CA farmers market

    Do something different or visit someplace new in six states other than MD
    –Tour Earthaven permaculture village near Black Mountain NC
    –Take a permaculture course with Peter Bane in Indiana
    –Hike Hanging Rock park in NC—The terrain looks odd for an eastern woodland area because once when the continents were smushed together in a different way, it was part of a beach in South America.
    –Attend a special candle Christmas service in Bethlehem PA or Winston-Salem or one of the Candle Teas; See a Putz. Try Moravian sugar cake. Tour the historical buildings.
    –Hike the Appalachian trail in early spring in the Linden, VA area when the wildflowers are blooming: hepatica, lady’s slipper, trillium, and much more. Good birding.
    –Visit the cave with the stalactite organ in Virginia
    –Visit Williamsburg, VA at Christmas and take the natural wreath tour. Go to Thomas Jefferson dinner.
    –Help the Santa Cruz, CA summer interns weed the food gardens at the university
    –Take a course on intensive gardening from John Jeavons in Willits, CA
    –Help a friend or relative participate in the 100 square foot garden challenge

    Eat at six small business restaurants and/or diners
    –Hickory Ridge Grill. Try some of the Greek spiced meat. It’s in the shopping center with the Giant.
    –Café de Paris

    Eat/drink or experience six childhood memories
    –Like the root beer float idea, maybe with pizza

    Log six new birds not seen before
    –Try the Howard County bird club walks in the Elkhorn area in early-mid October—people usually add to their life list
    –Within an hour of St Augustine, FL there is a river water tour with amazing birds and nesting sites.
    –South of Virginia Beach in the wildlife refuge. It’s like a wild beach.

    Cook and eat six new proteins, i.e., meat, seafood, beans or nuts
    –try the broth made from the Kyul Myung Ja bean, beans usually available at Korean grocery stores—dry beans look like rich brown aquarium gravel
    –amaranth seeds, quinoa, or Alegria bars/popped amaranth bars
    –make and eat some homemade cheese
    –Sprout some mung beans
    –make something from besan/chickpea flour

    Grow and/or eat six exotic fruits, veggies or herbs
    –Chinese stem lettuce
    –Doraji root
    –Mexican Sour Gherkin (trellis the plants)
    –A flour corn or the long keeping winter squash from The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe
    –Chinese long bean
    –Horseradish root and eat the leaves too
    –Purslane, high in the good omegas
    –Samphire, Crithmum maritimum, see Richter’s herbs
    –Lettuce leaf basil
    –Botanical Interests Sassy Salad Mix
    –Gotu Kola
    –large Asian radish and see Kansha cookbook for many ways to cook it
    –young luffa
    –mitsuba or mibuna
    –Bergaarten sage
    –Black raspberries
    –A variety of microgreens

    Tackle six rightsizing projects
    –Try the 100 Square Foot food garden challenge (a 4×25 foot bed works well)
    –Try a 100 item living experiment—Turn one of your rooms into sort of a studio apartment for yourself plus one section of the kitchen and one section of the bathroom. Limit yourself to the use of 100 items plus food and toiletries. Choose versatile items. Try to make it for a month without using other items in the house.
    –Design a Complete Nutrition Garden for yourself. Test the proposed plan for a week in four different seasons, by buying a week’s quota of what would be growing/preserved, cooking, and eating it. Tweak plan. Try growing it in 2014.

    • Loving some of these ideas.

      I have to laugh, though. We have already been to all three of those wineries.

      We picnicked at Viansa. Our first stop on a visit to Sonoma in 2008. Also did Clos du Bois that trip.

      We went to Biltmore years ago on vacation, and saw the winery. The gargoyle that watches over our house was bought there, too.

      I do want to check out the Ananpolis market.

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