Cozy Days


Winter comes to Florida like a roving marauder, doing his damage and moving on up the road.  He has visited us the end of this first week of the new year with temperatures cold enough to freeze the bird bath in the back of the house, but not the front.  These are the days we complain and layer, wear our boots and make a fire, and stay inside and make soup.  Cozy days!  We were planning to have our grandson this Saturday, but ended up not, and felt like a couple of prisoners set free from bondage.  We made a fire in the fireplace, curled up on the sofa, and were generally lazy.  It was fabulous!

Our coffer pickings were pretty slim, but I really wanted to make minestrone – the perfect soup for coffer raiding.  I love this soup because there is no set recipe – it’s a peasant soup traditionally made from whatever you have.  Perfect, because I didn’t have much.  I just started taking stuff out of the fridge and pantry – a can of diced tomatoes, a can of cannellini beans, a couple of onions and the rest of a bulb of garlic (about 5 cloves – hey, I like garlic, don’t judge!), 4 celery stalks, 5 carrots, a cube of vegetable bullion, some water, salt pepper, and Tuscan Sunset spice.  The meat layer in our family insisted upon the addition of a few slices of bacon, so that went in at the end,  plus a bit of romano cheese rind (just a Tbsp. or so) and a thawed container of frozen spinach.  It was just the right proportion of everything.  Hot, steamy, and just right on this cold January evening.


And then we had some Cole’s garlic bread in the freezer that we didn’t use at Christmas and added some cheese and salami for dipping deliciousness.  Heart and soul warming coziness!!


Tomorrow the temps will be back up a bit, and up in the 70’s by Wednesday.  So long for now, Mr. Winter, give me back my flip flops and tanks tops!



Welcome to The Blue Bandana.  I’m Judi, and I am here to tell stories of adventures.  Life is a grand journey full of excitement and I want to explore it all.   It happens fast and I often forget so much because it goes so quickly and I move on to the next thing before I get a chance to write it all down.  So join me as I travel, cook, eat, design, run, cycle, push myself to the limit.  I am interested in SO MANY things, and I will explore those here also –  everything from poetry, wisdom, love, and beauty in all its forms.  Hop on board!



Based upon this retrolisthesis thing, I’ve been doing some research to find out what I can do nutritionally and otherwise to support the healing of my back.  One of the first searches I did took me to a website that recommended nutrition as a treatment option, mostly aimed at controlling and reducing pain.  The recommended nutrients are zinc, manganese, copper, glucosamine, water, and Vitamin A.  My favorite (read: THE BEST) site for finding out what nutrients are in the foods we eat, and conversely, what foods contain certain nutrients, is The Worlds Healthiest Foods 

Vitamin A  aids in tissue repair and can be obtained from:

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 9.01.20 AMNo worries there, I eat plenty of sweet potatoes and carrots, kale and spinach.              Alongside this important vitamin is zinc, is an essential element for proper utilization of Vitamin A. Without zinc,  Vitamin A does not get released from the liver.  Good sources of zinc are:

From World's Healthiest Foods

From World’s Healthiest Foods

There is no venison or lamb in my diet, but sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, mos def.

Now comes the Vitamin C:

From World's Healthiest Foods

No problem here, either, while I am not partial to papaya, the rest of the list are on the frequent and favorite list.

Next on the list, copper, which is essential in adding strength to ligaments and membranes by cross linking the proteins (I have no idea what that means – I hope it’s not like crossing the streams):

From World's Healthiest Foods

Here we are again with the sesame seeds and the pumpkin seeds.  Plus cashews, sunflower seeds, and lentils, oh my!  Accompanying the copper is manganese, which also is a player in the protein cross linking:

From World's Healthiest Foods

I never knew that pumpkin seeds were so packed with minerals and antioxidants!  Apparently, a close relationship to the soil makes for mineral nutrient richness.  I’m for it!From World's Healthiest FoodsThe other recommendations as stated above were water and glucosamine.  I think we all know where to get water from. . . . my research on glucosamine, however, revealed no food sources of this supplement.  It is reported to aid in cartilage repair, but I found inconclusive evidence and conflicting results, so I am not going to bother with it.   Do what you will, my friends.

So next comes taking all of this information and creating some good food combining to maximize the nutritional effect of these foods to aid in relieving this pernicious pain in the back.