Summer sun
These days it's hard not to want to just sit around with a cold glass of lemonade and pop in a little summertime playlist like the one I'm listening to right now...

Unfortunately, I've still got loads to do in the garden - weeding, mulching, staking tomatoes, not to mention finishing off the last couple of beds so I can get the last few plants in - it never ends. With all of this going on, it's no wonder that winter seems a lot more conducive to blogging!

But I did muster up a good topic for you today. In fact, it's one that's just perfect for summer....

As we've been invited to two outdoor barbecues next weekend, I'm already planning to make sure I bring along plenty of sunscreen. But did you know that wearing the wrong sunscreen can actually be just as bad for your health as wearing none at all?

Grilled meats
'Tis the season of barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. Of summer evenings on the patio enjoying a juicy grilled burger or steak. Of friends and families gathered together around the grill to celebrate summer.

But did you know that grilling foods - particularly meats (but also vegetables as well) - can actually be harming your health? In fact, compounds found in browning meats have been linked to inflammation, advanced aging, and even cancer.

I know what you're thinking - "How can I ever give up my grilled burgers and brats?!?"

The good new is, you don't have to - as long as you make a few simple changes to your cooking habits. In fact, with these simple additions, your grilled meats will taste better than ever!

Salad gardenOur beautiful spring salad garden!
I realize it has been a while since I've posted an update on the homestead. Partly that is because we've just been too darned busy, and partly because, well, it has been a slow and frustrating year when it comes to gardening....

Our early warm spell gave way to an unseasonably cold April and May, and between the cold and the rain, and then some dry spells, everything has been quite delayed. For some reason, I also experienced numerous problems with seed germination for both our peppers and melons - both of which I re-planted several times indoors before I got a good crop of seedlings to plant outside.

Luckily, it seems that summer has finally arrived! With a few weeks of hot weather, we seem to be getting back on track, and I finally feel close to finishing "the final frontier" of our garden - the last few beds that we did not get done last year. It has been exhausting work, and I'm ready to take a break from forking and shoveling dirt, but the light at the end of the tunnel is giving me the incentive to push onward and get it done!

Check out the pictures below to see how everything is growing so far...

Presidential candidates
I read an interesting article recently about the 5 major health issues facing our country that somehow none of our potential presidential candidates seem to be addressing in any substantial way.

While there are other issues I would add (which I may address later in a follow up post), these 5 definitely do deserve some attention, and it is interesting that they are being so ignored by the major candidates as well as the media.

I guess it's because none of these issues have easy answers, or at least, none that will fit neatly into a campaign soundbite!

Why do you think these 5 issues are being neglected? And are there others you would add?  Read the post, then let me know in the comments below.