An Early Kansas Spring and Black Bean Soup

After a week of temps hovering in the 50s and 60s, we had our first spring storms last night. The line that came through our neck of the woods was the same system that had produced the first spring tornado near Hammon, Oklahoma earlier in the day. At one point, I was awakened by extremely high, (possibly straight-line winds?), with the rain blowing sideways and making much noise on the sides of our house. This morning, I noticed the winds knocked a huge branch out of one of the trees surrounding the house. Luckily, it was far enough away there was no damage to the house!

This morning began with beautiful blue skies and white fluffy clouds.  But there is more rain and storms in our forecast, and it appears that the sky is beginning to darken this afternoon again!  I was hoping the ground might have a longer respite, in order to dry up some of the large puddles and mud from last night's storm, but this is not to be.

Far be it from me to complain, however, as I am thrilled that spring is finally here.  How well I realize that Mother Nature could still throw a curve ball... last year we had a humongous ice storm on March 31!  I am thankful for our warm temperatures and beautiful skies.  And of course, I'm ever hopeful that I might get even more spectacular stormy sky photos this spring, who knows, maybe even a funnel cloud.  Off in the distance, of course. Passing by our house. Um-hm, yep.

If you enlarge this pic, you can see green winter wheat in the distance!
With the warm weather comes the urge to clean house.  Just a wee bit, nothing over the top of course.  I was going through some of my books this past weekend, trying to weed out a few more yet again.  (I got rid of a TON of books when I moved from Ohio to Kansas in '08.)  I discovered a book that my father had given to me back in '03 I think...  Spontaneous Healing, one of the many books written by Andrew Weil M.D.

I decided to read the first few chapters to see if it had any merit... and I've been reading it ever since Saturday night!  I'm fascinated and want to research more of Dr. Weil's philosophies and start applying them in my life.  Sadly, I have always struggled with eating the right foods, but his book is reminding me and reinforcing how important our diet is in maintaining our bodies.

Dr. Weil not only explains how our body's healing system is capable of spontaneous healing, but how we as individuals can optimize our healing systems - foods, environmental factors, exercise, stress reduction, vitamins, supplements and herbs all aid the body in maintaining its well-being.  There are also plenty of case histories which present irrefutable and inspiring evidence of spontaneous healing.  I personally like his approach as it embraces natural and noninvasive modalities; I've always been a rebel when it comes to taking very many drugs.  {The latest controversy surrounding Fosomax just serves to reinforce my convictions when it comes to avoiding drugs as much as is feasibly possible.}

I'm currently reading Chapter 13, Mind and Spirit - the book has 19 chapters, so I'm 3/4 of the way through it.  It's revelationary for me, and if you're interested in health and wellness, you will most likely find this book as fascinating a read as I am.  I highly recommend it.

One of his newest books is Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future.  It concerns the great healthcare debate and sounds like another great read so it's next on my list!  Click on the Amazon link to the right to find out more of this book's content.

I went to Dr. Weil's website the other day, and found his simple recipe for black bean soup ... I'm making up a batch this afternoon, and it smells delicious!  I researched different black bean soup recipes, so I've modified Dr. Weil's recipe just a tad by adding a few spices. I have always said "I don't like black bean soup", but you know what?  I honestly don't think I have ever tried it.  Since beans are so good for you, I've decided that I need to try more bean dishes, and today is my first effort to start eating a little better.

I'll give y'all a black bean soup update/recipe tomorrow,
with some photos.  

I'm hoping that I will find out how delicious it is, and realize what I've been missing out on all this time!


  1. Black bean soup--yeehaw!

    Great blues in your photo and I can't wait to start seeing the brown being replaced with green.

  2. shhh... sometimes, late at night, I miss the idea of a Kansas spring... It is glorious (but nit the bad windy ones)...

    And plan on the great fresh viggies to come

  3. I love Dr. Weil..can't remember the name of the book but he emphasized the quality of life...that is take care of yourself the best you can (exercise and eat organic) then when you get to 80 or so have dignity...something like that...he said it better! Also I use Dr. Weil Plantidote mega-mushroom face cream by is the best!!

  4. Steeeewpid, steewpid server ate my comment!

    Anyway, beautiful photos. Only Kansas can look like that after a storm.

  5. Beautiful blue sky's you have going on there today. We have 74 degrees with sunshine. If only I were outside to enjoy it:). I love black bean soup, it's really better than it sounds.

  6. I'm like you about beans-a bit uncertain. Glad to hear Spring is peaking thru in Kansas. I travel thru twice a year when I go to see my Mother in Iowa.

    Will be waiting to hear your critique of the black bean soup.


  7. I really like black beans will have to ck out the recipe...

  8. Oh, Oz Girl, you been missing out on some good victuals. In my humble opinion there is no such thing as a bad bean. Black beans, lima beans, pork and beans, green beans, navy beans, oh man it’s all good. I could definitely live on beans, potatoes, and rice. Maybe just a wee bit of meat on occasion for some seasoning would be good in the pot. My eating habits are pretty simple these days .... and cheap. I like cheap. When people gather for pot luck, everybody knows that I’ll be bringing the beans. We gathered together just the other day for a Hawaiian Winter Luau and of course I brought the Hawaiian beans. The pineapple and ham brought a wonderful flavor to the bean dish.

    Just about any meat or seasoning will go with beans. They are good protein, have lots of fiber (which is good for an old guy like me), fits well with almost any main dish, or can be the main dish. It’s just a wonderful food. Now I’m wondering why do I not grow any in my garden? Hmmm, I think maybe another garden expansion is in the near future.

    Then there is soup. As Campbell’s Soup company would say, “Mmmm Mmmm Good.” I’m still working on soup I canned last November from the Thanksgiving Turkey carcass I boiled down and made into soup. Yum!!

    Old Nebraska Dave

  9. We have had rain this week and hazy sky and 45 degree F temp. The temp being that high means we are heading into spring. The rain is helping the piles of snow disappear. We can see the lawn now and some plants. I want to hear more about the bean soup.

  10. I really LOVE your fluffy clouds picture!! Winter wheat is always so pretty this time of year! I was so excited Sunday night when I could smell the rain!! I am hoping we don't have any back lashes from mother nature because I am sure loving this weather!!

  11. Yes, Suz, the winds WERE straight-winds. I was sitting at the computer and could see them out the window behind the monitor. The yard light outside the window went off TWICE, and I thought the power lines and telephone lines were going to blow off the poles as they were stretching to the limit toward the east. I lost a few shake shingles from the Guinea coop . . . but the Guineas were still inside, albeit a little soggy.
    So far this a.m. NO CLOUDS!!! and Lots of SUN!!! and NO WIND!!!! and I've got to go into the office. :(

  12. That first photo is just fabulous - looks like a fairy tale country!

  13. Your photos are beautiful! I envy you your warmer Spring temps, but I don't envy those tornado scares. whew! I hope none come close to you this year.
    It's snowing today...and it snowed yesterday and Monday, too. Spring won't officialy be up here at our 7,000ft elevation until June. We've gotten snow and hail into late May. Spring really only lasts a week up here anyway.
    Sad, but true.

    Black bean soup sounds yummy. We're actualy having Great Northern bean soup tonight for dinner. My kids have to be coerced to eat beans, though. sigh.

    Have a beautiful week,

  14. Oh man, look at those gorgeous pictures!! Can I come visit you for awhile!? LOL It looks positively beautiful and Spring-ish there :D

    I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt by the wild weather going on down there!

    Dr. Andrew Weil is like my hero-He has a medical school out in AZ that I would DIE to be able to go too :)

  15. Great skies.. I was out golfing yesterday (shirt sleeves) There sure is going to be a lot of work to do to get garden ready.. LOL

  16. I have always liked Dr. Weil and I think the man make a lot of sense. God created these bodies of our to take care of us if we take care of it.

    Yep, it's almost 70 today here in the Ozarks but the temps are gonna drop and storms and possible tornadoes...ya know the drill being a Kansas chick!

    Let us know about the black bean soup. I too have always said I don't like it.....hummm...never had it either.

    God bless and have a marvelous day!!!

  17. Spring finally arrived here too - just 3 or 4 weeks late *sigh