grandma’s triangle dinner bell




How does your county rank?

This is cool.

With a click of your mouse, you can now find out how healthy your county is.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Program has compiled truckloads of data and distilled it into easy-to-read stats that appear when you select your state from the U.S. map on their website.

Factors that affect a county’s ranking range from the usual suspects, like smoking and obesity, to slightly more obscure variables such as drinking water safety, education levels, and recreational access.


Photo by Petar Milošević via Wikimedia Commons

The goal behind the program is to “help communities create solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their own communities,” explains the program’s founders. “The County Health Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work, and play.”

The site offers Webinars, a Tools & Resources page, and a hands-on Action Center that counties can use to nurture their residents and boost their rankings.

I’ve always believed that small changes close to home are crucial to bettering the nation as a whole, and I do what I can to contribute to my county’s health. I was happy to see that Latah County, my little patch of paradise, is the fourth healthiest county in Idaho.

How about yours?


My 4th of July Trail

Photo Jul 09, 3 40 58 PM

This path took me along the outer edge of Canoe Island, part of the San Juan Islands in Washington State. I am told the total circumference of the island is 3/4 of a mile, so I ran two laps. Trail running is an entirely different ballgame. I had sore muscles where I hadn’t even noticed muscles before! But the sound of the water lapping at the shore as I ran was marvelous. Continue reading



Grilled Cheese? Yes, please!

A food cart, by definition, is a mobile kitchen that is set up on the street to facilitate the sale and marketing of street food to local pedestrian traffic.

On a recent visit to Portland, Oregon, for a college reunion, I experienced the growing trend firsthand. Food carts have evolved! Airstreams and Shastas are serving it up all over the city. Food for this farmgirl’s heart, for sure.

Photo Jul 01, 11 31 40 AM

We decided on grilled cheese sandwiches from an Airstream called The Grilled Cheese Grill … had to be good, right? And this was not just any old grilled cheese! I had the Jersey, which consisted of sauteed mushrooms and Swiss on rye with added sauerkraut. The fan favorite at our table was definitely the BABS, made with bacon, apple, blue cheese, and Swiss. Consensus? A grilled cheese made in an Airstream is delish!

Photo Jul 01, 12 48 47 PM

We topped off our choices with cold, Northwest-brewed beer—served farmgirl-style in canning jars—from the Captured By Porches bus next door. Yes, this farmgirl would definitely say that Portland can serve up some good eats and drinks in the most fashionable of ways.