freestyle fridays

 supermoms, and a little bit about superfoods, too.
there is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child-and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. --robert brault
recently, we shared a post on notes from maggie's farm, here, entitled 'who is maggie?', where we spoke about all the maggie's that were a part of our path.  one of those maggie's was my mother, margaret ann, and another maggie, who is my grandmother, margaret josephine.  you can read all about them on the thread linked to above.

there are two other notable women who, through no fault of their own, are not named maggie, or any derivative thereof, but are nonetheless as much a meaningful part of our lives, and play an integral and supportive role in the journey that is from maggie's farm.  any discussion of the amazing women that come before us is utterly incomplete without them.

jerre louise, with my father,
thomas william jr.
jerre louise, or j-lou for fun, is my very special 'other mother'.  over 37 years ago, my father wisely chose her, and my sister wende, to complete our lives.  i'm sure she was horrified delighted to find two carbon copies of my father in my twin brother and me, and she welcomed us into their lives without hesitation, and with a most required sense of humor. i can't even begin to innumerate the ways in which jerre has enriched me, helped me to grow into a strong and capable woman (a work in progress), and instilled in me the value of good manners, keeping your ducks in a row, and a well-timed thank you note (also a work in progress).  she will retire (again) from teaching this year where she will no doubt be sorely missed.  she has students who have kept up with her for years because of the positive impact she has had in their lives. she is smart as a whip, extremely well-read, cultured, plays a mean game of bridge where she is always a most sought after partner, and is always the first one to get my jokes with a fabulously hearty laugh.  she has style, wit, grace, a beautiful home, and you should see what she's done with my dad.  if you have jerre in your corner, well, watch out world.  she'll make you believe you are what you aren't, until you are.  she brings such richness to the tapestry of my life and I can't imagine where i'd be without her. 
florence louise, flanked by her husband
steve, and her family priest, upon the
celebration of their 60th anniversary
florence louise, 'flo' to those who know her, is my precious mother-in-law. she is an amazing woman, who lives her whole life, without question or complaint, devoted to family and faith.  there is no task, whatever the sacrifice, that she will not perform for her family.  at 82 years old, along with her husband, steve, to whom she has been married for over 60 years, she drove from glassport, pennsylvania, a suburb of pittsburgh, to our home outside of austin to attend our wedding, and tend our farm while we honeymooned.  there is no dish unwashed, no clothes unlaundered when flo is in your home--she simply will not allow you to lift a finger, and spoils us all rotten. she is a tireless worker who spent many of her working days outside of the home in the local school cafeteria, and then came home to feed her family, of which one very hungry boy who grew up to be a farmer belonged, and then worked into the night baking thousands of beautiful cookies that people all around the pittsburgh area demanded and fawned over every holiday.  i see in her son, the strong work ethic, and the unerring support for those they love. she has instilled these qualities in her own children through a shining example of her own devotion. she offers unconditional love to all of those in her life, and she is a model of motherhood, and partnership that i admire and strive to emulate in my own life. i could not have hand-picked a mother, and family-in-law, so special, and i pray that she lives to a ripe and vital old age, so i can continue to learn all she has to teach. 

now i know you have some very special women in your own lives that deserve a little pampering this mother's day weekend, and to that end, we have a healthy and delicious way to do just that, while supporting their health and vitality.  it includes many of the 'superfoods' we'll be focusing upon in the next few posts, chockfull of nutrients and flavor.  forget that same old box of chocolates and treat your mother-types well with.......

supermoms' superfoods smoothie
serves 2

ingredients include:
1 cup fresh pineapple, chunked
1 medium banana, ripe
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1t grated ginger
1 T flaxseed
1 small carton plain greek-style yogurt *
in blender jar, first place flaxseed, grind briefly by pulsing until ground well.  add remaining ingredients, blend until smooth.  optionally, you may serve this over ice, or crush 1/2 to 1 c in blender along with ingredients.  if additional sweetness is desired, sweeten with agave nectar or local honey to maintain health benefits. 

* to fancy this one up a bit more, we occasionally use liberte brand mediterranean style coconut yogurt.  it's a little carton of heaven. i think moms deserve it. 

so these superfoods? well, we're going to be focusing our attention on over 40 'superfoods' that support and enhance your best health, keep you young, rev up your metabolism, boost your immunity, build and maintain strong muscles and bones, fight disease, reduce inflammation, and generally keep you feeling energetic and vital for diving head-on into your busy and fabulous life.  we'll even share the best types, quantities, and occasions to add them to your diet, and recipes that include as many superfoods as possible, such as the smoothie above, of which all ingredients are on our lists. 

 see you monday!


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