May Almanac feature on Health: 7-Minute Workout

Honestly, I begin to feel very down about life when I don’t work out; almost depressed. There’s something about sweating and getting my heart pumping that boosts my endorphins, self-esteem, even my spiritual inclinations in life.

For this May Almanac, with it’s theme of “Prize”, we include a short work out. We hope when you hit the finish line you feel you’ve received something excellent for yourself.


(12 high intensity exercises, 30 second per exercise, 10 seconds rest in-between)


Jumping jacks
Wall sits
Step-ups on a chair
Tricep dips on a chair
High Knees in place
Push-ups and rotations
Side planks


May Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake

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I didn’t like strawberry shortcake growing up. Then I met my wife. 

You see, I had a preconceived notion of the dessert in my mind: it was made with strawberries, dry- pre-packaged- store-bought angel-food cake, and cool whip thrown over it all. That was the way I’d had it prepared by relatives and pot-lucks over the years.

Then my wife cast a new vision for me, repainting the glory of what could be… nay, what strawberry shortcake was MEANT to be.

When she made it, it was homemade shortcake, hand-spun whipped cream, sugared strawberries. 

THIS is strawberry shortcake. How it was really meant to be enjoyed. I love how the truth of something can be revealed by experiencing the real thing. There’s a larger story in there somewhere…

Enjoy the real thing here. And make this great recipe for May.



6  C. sliced strawberries
1/2 C. sugar, divided
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
2/3 C. milk

Homemade Whipped Cream 

1 C. whipping cream
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Stir together berries and 1/4 C. of the sugar; set aside. Stir together remaining sugar, flour, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (can be done in the food processor). Combine eggs and milk; add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir just to moisten. Don’t over mix! Spread into a greased 8 inch round baking pan, building up the edges slightly. Bake in a 450 degree oven for

15-18 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Split into 2 layers. Spoon the fruit and whipped cream between the layers and over the top. Serve immediately.

For whipped cream, beat cold cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Note: for a yummy variation, add some thinly sliced mint or basil to the sliced strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
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“Mount Jericho” Poem by Joel McKerrow


by Joel McKerrow, spoken word poet from Australia

I have been running recently,
everyday, head first around this mountain near our home.
Only its not a mountain,
it’s a giant’s belly rotund and laid down to rest.
Only its not a giant either,
it is a rubbish tip, was a rubbish tip, once.
I run twice the two mile round trip
on the track around the edge of that old rubbish dump.
A mountain of the waste of humanity piled high
and eaten now
by a sleeping giant.
I run around and around, the giant heaving beside me,
his belly always on my left, always rumbling,
I have learnt more from this pile of rubbish than any other in my life.
When the rubbish dump was closed the council covered it in soil,
let green grass grow till it covered the decomposition occurring underneath.
The animals come to feed here.
Everyday that I run this track I am reminded,
of my own mountain of waste and decomposition, the one that lies underneath.
I am reminded that on top of it all grows green grass, a fertile soil.
Rich because of the decomposition, not in spite of it.
Life comes out of the death of so much, the animals come to feed here.
How much on these runs would I love to find a finish line,
how much a reward, a prize for my efforts, something more
than just the normality of life that waits to greet me.
Yet, everyday, toward the end of my run I climb the the path as it curls upward around the mountain until I am standing atop its heights.
I know, though there is no finish line, but this is prize enough,
this is fortune, this is reward, this is the reason, this is an ending and a beginning, this

is all that matters…to stand atop that which once was the waste of my life.

The race has been run, today it was a cold race and a lonely one too. It is Easter weekend and a fitting time to realize that death is only ever a lonely beginning, that waste is too a rebirth, that rubbish dumps are places of resurrection.
I stand atop my conquered giant, hold his head in my hands, I dance there, on the mountain, I know who I am and the reason that I run, this is enough,
until I turn the corner, run back down the hill and run around again and again.

The other day
I managed to run five times around her,
ten miles straight.
I called her my Jericho
and she let her walls

(Background picture from artist Wes Bruce-