YIPPIE HIPPIE GRANOLA

YIPPIE HIPPIE GRANOLA

This summer I went by the downtown Farmer’s Market and within a few minutes of walking around the place,   I noticed a noticed a booth with my favorite colors in their

Granola Marketing at its best

Granola Marketing at its best

banner, drawing in the crowd with their tasty wares.  It was YIPPIE HIPPIE GRANOLA – and by coincidence, it was being run by a former co-worker of mine!

Those favorite colors were the tye dyed look of the 60’s, which of course symbolizes youthful rebellion and freedom – a topic which will always reign universal as a recurring theme.  It wasn’t exactly Woodstock, but it at least blotted out the reality of 2011 and our economic downturn for a few minutes, if nothing else.

I bought a bag and a snack bar made fo the same stuff, without a bit of hesitation – I was reeled in!   It turns out that it was very good, and healthy as well.  The owners of this business are the Ervins and they know their granola; they had a complete ingredient listing ready to quote for anyone to see.

Here are a few more shots of their product; I hope all of you will try it sometime, either online via their website, or it is more personalized if you go downtown on a Saturday morning and buy it at the Farmer’s Market, after a long bike ride on the Mississippi riverfront, which I also did that day, but that’s another blog post). 

By the way, here’s their URL –  http://www.yippiehippiegranola.com/

Happy Granola eating!

The Ervins - proprieters of Yippie Hippie Granola
The Ervins – proprieters of Yippie Hippie – More Granola peddling
the actual product

The actual product

Advertisements
Posted in Hippie Alert | Leave a comment

Niagara Falls and Beyond

The Canadian Falls - much bigger than the US falls

The Canadian Falls - much bigger than the US falls

I finally got to see the world-famous Niagara Falls the first week of October, 2011.  It was as they say, spectacular.  Take a look at the photos below to convince you that it is awesome.  The area known as Niagara Falls is located on the border between the US and Canada, with the Niagara river separating the two countries.   Many people assume that there is only one waterfall, but actually there is the American Falls on the United States side and the Canadian Falls (or ‘HorseShoe Falls’) on the Canadian side.  

You can freely travel between the US and Canadian side with your US passport as often as you want, and enjoy the view from all angles.  I recommend you definitely go into Canada by crossing Rainbow Bridge.

The Maid of the Mist with a rainbow alongside

The Maid of the Mist with a rainbow alongside

Beside the Falls

Beside the Falls

Well, one more wonder of nature to check off on the list of must-see places!

Niagara Falls - the US side

Niagara Falls - the US The Maid of the Mist - ridden by thousands of people yearly

Posted in Nature's Blessings | Leave a comment

My First 5K Race!

NAMI 5K – October 15th, 2011

I took up running in the Summer of 2011 as a way of cross-training to offset all the road biking that I had been doing.  I initially did not enjoy running as much as biking, but eventually I came to like it as much as being on a bike.  Many of my co-workers were into running and had many years of experience, along with a string of successes in marathons and other racing events.  I knew that I too would want to compete, but I would have to start small, just in a local 5K, to see if I could keep  up. 

NAMI 5K - just after receiving my first 5k medal!

NAMI 5K - just after receiving my first 5k medal!

My moment of trial by fire came in early October, when the NAMI 5K was presented as a goal to acheive by my neice and her boyfriend, whom both planned to participate. NAMI stands for National Alliance on Mental Illness, and is a very worthy cause, in my opinion.

I almost did not run, but at the last minute I jumped in the car and headed out to Collierville to run.  I was happily surprised when I arrived and had not missed the start, so I began filling out the registration forms.  As soon as I finished putting my name on the dotted line, someone shouted ‘GO’ and we were off!.  I had to put down my tote bag on the ground and ask a food provider to watch it while I ran.  I ran as hard as I could to catch up with the pack, but they were way out in front.  Somehow I managed to get through the 3.1 miles that make up the 5K run, crossing the finish line in 29 minutes and 43 seconds.  I did not know if I had placed or not, so I waited around for the awards ceremony.  It was a pleasant shock to find out that I came in second in my age bracket!  

NAMI 5K - getting the 2nd place medal

NAMI 5K - getting the 2nd place medal

I accepted the medal and was encouraged by this to go on to run again in November.   You can see the snippet from Races On Line with my time posted – it was just an awesome moment for me, considering that I had just taken up the sport a few months earlier. 

Running seems to clear your mind to focus on other things, and some even say that it promotes the growth of new brain cells.  I need all the new ones that I can get at my age! 

NAMI 5K - at the finish line

NAMI 5K - at the finish lineNAMI 5K - the results are in!

 But seriously, running can be very beneficial to your health.  It is one of the oldest sports in the world, dating back to Biblical times, where numerous times in both the Old and New Testament it is mentioned as a metaphor for various things.
 
Here’s a great one from the Greatest Communicator, the Apostle Paul, when writing the running aficionados of the city of Corinth:
 
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore i do not run like a man running aimlessly, i don not fight like a man beating the air. No, i beat my body and make it my slave so that after i have preached to others, i may not be disqualified for the prize.’

Keep running!

NAMI 5K - the results are in...

NAMI 5K - the results are in...

Posted in The Sporting Life | Leave a comment

A Personal Milestone – 50 Miles In One Day

The 50 Mile Journey

On September 2nd, 2011 I achieved a biking milestone, in which I completed 50 miles of peddling in temperatures that reached almost 100 degrees by the end of the ride, but yet I felt great and never too tired to keep going. 

Using a too-tall, all-aluminum bike that a co-worker recently gave me, I was able to go from Shelby Farms to Harbor Town and back, plus an added side trip to the Peddler bike shop on Highland.    This was done with the help and encouragement of another biking co-worker who set the pace. 

The Memphis Greenline provided the access through the city up to Tillman, which at that point it required the use of Broad Street to cross over into the Mid-town area.  Passing by the old Sears Crosstown building, I could see the rusting hunk of what was once the grand old store, looking like some forelorn mountain peak jutting out of a valley of equally quaint housing.

Upon reaching Harbortown, crossing via the Auction Street bridge, I peered down between the pilings to see the gleaming Memphis Harbor, which had been a previous conquest of mine just a few months earlier.

Passing back through Mid-Town, we crossed into the Vollitine-Evergreen neighborhood, where we encountered what turned out to be a small greenline that I had never even been on before.  We exited that greenline after a few blocks to travel up University street in order to return back to the main Memphis Greenline.  Passing by Cafe Eclectic, the scene of many a great vegetarian meals, we turned on to North Parkway to continue the ride, which required a pass through the odiferous Memphis Zoo area.

Upon returning to Shelby Farms where my PT Cruiser had remained parked all day, my co-worker’s GPS indicated that the total trip for me had reached 50 miles.  I felt that I had finally reached a pinnacle of some success in my biking pursuits. 

I would encourage you to bike your way to health – you’ll not regret it!

Posted in The Sporting Life | Leave a comment

Kayaking in The Memphis Harbor

Mississippi River Bridge - a view from the bow

Mississippi River Bridge - a view from the bow

Harboring A Deep Secret – Kayaking in The Memphis Harbor!

In June, 2011 I did a Saturday morning kayak trip by myself in the Memphis harbor.  It was quite fun, because I was able to paddle out in the harbor among a few speedboats that were heading out into the Mississippi river.  I launched my little kayak from the Mud Island marina, after putting down $10 to satisfy the fee they charge for non-members. 

Here I am paddling out to meet the river

Here I am paddling out to meet the river

It turned out to be well worth the price, as I felt really alone but independent as I floated towards the mouth of the harbor.  There ahead of me laid the mighty Mississippi river, seething in all its majesty, just recently having flooded its banks thencovering the entire area just a month earlier. 
 
I paddled under bridges that I had crossed by car for almost 40 years, admiring their swarthy structures from underneath girders of decades old steel.  How perfect of a day was this to behold.
 
I had packed a lunch to eat onboard, so about noontime I stopped paddling and floated aimlessly in the ever-warming sunlight, enjoying a mostly vegetarian feast.  This was living!  Did it have to end?  
 
I saw the old steam-powered paddle boats docked at the foot of Front street that I had once ridden as a child on a field trip, more than 40 years earlier, and saw a younger, tinier version of me aboard the Memphis Queen, peering out at the small green kayak in the harbor.  Could this all be real?
 
I considered paddling into the river, and attempting a small excursion into the main waters, but
Paddling in the Memphis Harbor
Paddling in the Memphis Harbor

avoided that, knowing that it could mean instant death with no trace.  My older, wiser self said it was better to stay content and alive in the harbor than risk it all for a wild ride in the open river.  Thank goodness for common sense!

 
If you can find your own kayak, be it a real one or some other form of excursionary vehicle, I highly recommend it.  You’ll never regret it nor the journey of self-discovery that is possible in such a craft.
 
To put it into perspective, here’s a quote from that great musician and poet, James Taylor:
 
Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.
 
Happy boating!
Posted in The Sporting Life | Leave a comment

Stuck in the Mud!

I am always looking for locations to kayak, so this morning I went down to the Wolf River bottoms at Houston Levee. I had heard that you could put your boat in there and kayak to Germantown Parkway, so i was on an investigative hunt for the truth.

When leaving the area I got stuck in the mud! I struggled with trying to get out but my little PT Cruiser got further entrenched.

Fortunately a fisherman in a four wheel drive came along and pulled me out.

This nice guy also gave me sage advice on boating in the Wolf River there – he said it’s dangerous, too many eddy currents that are whirling beneath the surface. I guess I should heed his warnings!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Playing the Levitt Shell

I fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing the guitar on the Levitt Shell about two weeks ago.  Two of my former band members came in town for a reunion so I thought it would be fun if we went to the Levitt Shell and staged our own impromptu concert.  Even though the temperatures reached almost 100 degrees, we stood out there for an hour, singing our old songs from the 70’s.  Even my granddaughter got into the act, turning the amp down just when we got really into playing, and strumming guitars on stage.

The band back together one more time

The band back together one more time

In 1975, a then unknown guitarist/singer named Dana Key approached me with the idea of playing there, and I unwisely told him we were not ready and did not have the right equipment to do the gig. I should have jumped at the chance, because Dana Key went on to found Degarmo and Key, one of the most influential Christian Rock groups of the 80’s.

Well, you cannot go back and undo history, but at least you can have a little fun with nostalgia.  Here are a few pics from that reunion concert.  We are all old and gray now, missing a lot of hair, and in our 50’s, but we still can rock out.  We are going to try this again in the fall when the weather is cooler, but this time with a song list prepared and more equipment!

Playing the 'Strat' on stage - what fun!

Playing the 'Strat' on stage - what fun!

At the Levitt Shell - the Three Amigos - Los Tres Hombres, the three Stooges!

At the Levitt Shell - the Three Amigos - Los Tres Hombres, the three Stooges!

Posted in Morgan's Memphis | Leave a comment