Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Strawberry Jam: A Sure Sign of Spring

Strawberry Jam: A Sure Sign of Spring
Two things are sure to indicate spring is here, Daylights Savings Time and strawberry jam. While I could write an entire post lamenting my struggle with the one hour time adaptation, strawberry jam is a sweeter topic for today. The following essay is from my book, Gold Pans and Iron Skillets. Funny, the memories that arise while making strawberry jam have evolved from those in the original article. They now take me back to my young married life and motherhood and my dedication for jam making. I'm not as dependable as I once was as there are not so many hungry mouths to feed. Strawberry jam making now occurs only biannually, if that often, but it still feels like a ritual. Enjoy the essay!



Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

I married a dairy farmer and soon learned that one of my major responsibilities as a farm wife would be to can and preserve fruits and vegetables for the coming winter.  Having avoided these activities for my first twenty-five years, I was apprehensive of the tasks at hand.  To my surprise, my initial experience proved a joy rather than a chore!

As our strawberry patch began to show signs of a harvest, my husband of just six months had a hint he was fond of using.  “Soon, you’ll be able to make strawberry jam!”  When the day arrived, I rolled up my sleeves, gritted my teeth, and plunged into my duty.  As I stood stirring the thickening jam, I remembered Grandma Nelson –- or rather, Grandma Nelson’s Back Porch.  There was an old manual washing machine in the room we referred to as the Back Porch.  Grandma had been afflicted with a stroke and her ten children shared the burden of caring for her in her own home.  I can remember my mother washing clothes in that old machine when we stayed with Grandma after her stroke.  My favorite part of Grandma’s Back Porch was an upright freezer.  On the racks inside its door were bottles of strawberry jam.  I can’t recall what other treats it contained; probably a trout or two from Teton Creek and some frozen corn.  I remember opening the freezer door and touching the jars with my fingertips.  I would hold my fingers against the glass until the frost melted and tiny windows revealed the red goodies within.  Mom would catch me and growl at me for keeping the freezer door open, just as I now growl at my children for similar offenses!

I make strawberry jam every year.  Whether I have five jars in my freezer or twenty-five, I complete the ritual.  It has become a tradition for me.  In a way, it helps to preserve my memory of Grandma, and of Grandma’s house, for each time I stir my strawberry jam I recall the first time I made it and the memories come flooding back.  I will always keep frosty jars of strawberry jam in my upright freezer just as there were always frosty jars in Grandma Nelson’s freezer.

Not every canning project is as rewarding or goes as smoothly as did my strawberry jam efforts.  Over the years, countless bottles have refused to seal, bushels of fruit have spoiled before the task was completed, and dozens of filled jars remain on my shelves because the family just doesn’t like canned peaches and pears anymore.  They never did develop an appetite for the carrots and new potatoes I bottled just because I could.  There are those items that remain unidentified because, as a beginner, I wasn’t wise enough to label and date the lids.  They will never be eaten, but I am reluctant to dispose of them as I am confident they took much effort and time that I didn’t have to spare. 

Red onions are abundant, free, and pretty.   I thought it a good idea to save some for a rainy day.  Having located a recipe for Vinegared Red Onions, I filled three dozen pint jars.  I have only opened one.  The pink onions were nasty!  They lost a little color as they were processed, but the onion and vinegar flavors became stronger, too strong to use as a garnish, condiment, or main dish!  They aren’t even worth using as a decoration, as the color has continued to fade to a dull brown.

I have streamlined my canning and preserving efforts over the years.  I now strive to devote my time, talents, and cash to things that will be of use such as: green beans, pickled beets, apple pie filling, and frozen corn.  Oh, and strawberry jam, because not only is it of sentimental value, it has become a staple in our diet.  My family might perish without a freezer full of strawberry jam! 

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Hard Run - Discussion Questions

Was it worth it?
It's been a long winter, but we survived and things are going to be better because of it! That is how I often feel about running. When I wrote The Hard Run: Painful Lessons for a Running Granny, I had the theme of endurance in mind. What do we endure that we should not? What do we endure because it makes us better? What do we endure because it enhances our life experience? It is with those thoughts in mind that I have compiled the following Discussion Questions. You might ask yourself these questions as you read the book or after you have completed it. My hope is that the book helps clarify the kinds of things you do that are bad, good, or simply part of mortality.

If you need to read the book, you can find it HERE or on Amazon.



Discussion Questions


The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny


by Carol M Green


Can you identify a painful or damaging experience that you wish you would have had the wisdom or courage to end or exit?


Is there something that you are doing today that is hurting you physically, emotionally, or spiritually?


Have you ever endured something, only to learn the experience was unnecessary? Did you choose that painful experience?


Have you ever chosen to go through something particularly difficult knowing that in the end the reward will be worth the discomfort along the way?


Think of your greatest accomplishment or source of joy. Did you obtain it without some sort of sacrifice?


Have you ever joined another person on his/her difficult journey only to discover that your life has been enriched by the new association or bond that you have built with that individual?


When have you experienced pain or discomfort as a direct result of a joyful experience? Would you choose to endure that same discomfort again to receive joy?


What is the most difficult thing you have done in your life?


How did you grow or choose not to grow through that experience?


What is one thing you have learned through painful experiences?

As always, I welcome feedback. Please leave your comments below!
Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Spring Writers' Symposium and Writing Contest is just around the corner


Idaho Creative Authors Network
Phyllis Vavold Nettleton, Carol Green, Sheila Eismann, and JoEllen Claypool

Has winter got you down? If you live in the Treasure Valley in Southwest Idaho, it may have. Be assured, Spring 2017 is just around the corner. That means the Second Annual ICAN Spring Writers’ Symposium and Writing Contest is also just around the corner. If you are thinking about writing, but don’t know where to begin. We can help. Perhaps you already write, but need assistance with publishing. We can help.

Why does the Idaho Creative Authors Network sponsor events such as this one?
We recognized a need to bring affordable and convenient writing opportunities to the Treasure Valley. There is a lot of talent and experience right here. We strive to bring those with publishing and marketing experience in contact with those who are just starting out in their writing careers by sponsoring local events on a semi-annual basis.

The Spring Writers’ Symposium and Writing Contest includes both writing instruction and writing contests for published and non-published authors. The symposium promises to be packed with information and interaction for beginning and established writers seeking to improve their writing and marketing skills.  A networking luncheon will give attendees the opportunity to interact with fellow writers and presenters who include Author and Texas Writing Academy Participant, Carol Green Kjar, along with ICAN authors JoEllen Claypool, Carol Green, Phyllis Vavold Nettleton, and Sheila Eismann. Workshop topics include Strengthening Your Writing, Manuscript Development, Cover Design, and much more.  Come prepared to engage in a writing activity to implement what you have learned!  The day caps off with an Awards Ceremony for winners of the writing contests.

When and Where?
The event will be held Saturday, March 4th from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. at the Parma High School Commons Room, 137 Panther Lane, Parma, Idaho 83660.The deadline for writing contest submissions is February 18.
Get those pencils sharpened, your laptops dusted off, or your phone mic tuned in and tell us a story.
Your paid registration includes the presentations, writing contest submission, and luncheon. 

How do I register?
To purchase tickets and for more information click HERE or contact us by email at idahocreativeauthorsnetwork@gmail.com
Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cross Training - Because I can't run


http://runninggrannygreen.blogspot.com/2016/12/winter-running-motivation-for-beginners.html
It just keep falling!
What do you do when forces beyond your control require you to make a change? It’s January 4th already and the continued snowfall and icy roads indicate I will not be running any time soon. As much as I would like to avoid it, I’ve committed to cross training until the pavement reappears. I’ve long said, “Change is good because it presents an opportunity for growth.” Whether or not we choose to grow – well, that’s up to us. I’m trying to grow. Or perhaps, I am trying to stop growing around my middle!

Today was Day Two of my indoor, group training, weights included, video led, cross training workout. It didn’t kill me. I’ve been using snow shoveling as my cross training, but it mostly makes me sore. There is some cardio involved, but I don’t know if I can honestly count shoveling as cross training.
I’m hoping that by incorporating these workouts into my routine, I will be better prepared when the running begins again. Every winter I vow to “run through it.” I’ve been successful some years and others I have not. This is one of those unsuccessful years.
Winter running tip.

Chocolate Berry Smoothie
The good news is that because I was all warmed up from the workout a cold breakfast smoothie sounded awesome. Rather than hunkering over warm eggs and toast, I indulged in one of my favorites  - Chocolate Berry Breakfast Smoothie. Yum!
Now I’m all cooled down it’s time to do some more snow shoveling cross training! I’ve been praying for adequate precipitation for years, so I’m trying not to murmur. Who knows? Maybe I am growing. I do look forward to the day, however, when the pavement reappears and I can go for a run. I really miss running and I miss my running buddies!

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running! Carol - aka Running Granny Green

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.