Sunday, October 31, 2010


I know that many people see October 31 as an evil day. I guess a lot of that would have to do with the state of one's heart.

Today I find the candy in my home is a very real temptation, but I have to get used to that because from now till New Year's day, my home will be filled with tempting food. I will be invited to social occasions where I will be repeatedly tempted by wonderful food. I must learn to prepare tempting, but healthy dishes if I am to become the healthy person I want to be.

You see, I like to travel and the last trip I took--to see my sister--was filled with difficulties. I
haven't traveled, even to go on mission trip, since. --But I want to travel and I believe I will.

Anyway, I have been searching for some substitutes in my favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. Here are some links I found on the Internet. Maybe you will find this information helpful, too:






Wednesday, October 27, 2010


When we begin to watch our weight, we immediately begin to add salads to our meals. The thing is, a salad can become a high calorie side dish--especially if you love those creamy salad dressings.

I've tried using light dressings, but they all seem to leave a bitter aftertaste. I've also tried using less dressing, but then the salads seem a bit plain.

Then I stumbled upon this recipe for an oil, vinegar & herb dressing. I'm not exactly sure how many calories the dressing has, but the canola oil I use is 120 calories per tablespoon--and one tablespoon will sufficiently coat and flavor a large salad.

A good thing about an oil and vinegar dressing is that it doesn't cling to the lettuce. It lightly flavors the salad and drips to the bottom of the container, without adding extra calories.

Another additional benefit of this recipe is that it is very economical. Once you purchase the ingredients, they will last far longer than a $2 to $3 bottle of regular dressing. Here's the recipe:


olive, peanut, or vegetable oil (of any variety)
wine vinegar
salt (I like kosher salt best)
parsley flakes
crushed pepper
You may also add:
crushed garlic

1. Combine 1 tea. salt, 1 tea. crushed pepper, and 3 table. wine vinegar in a jar.

2. Cover and shake hard so the salt mixes with the vinegar.

3. Add 3/4 cup of oil, 1 table. parsley, and shake the jar some more. Add any other ingredients and shake.

4. Refrigerate the rest.

I hope you enjoy this!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Spring and autumn are my 2 favorite times of the year. The weather is usually mild in the part of the country where I live--if you don't count all of the allergens that both seasons seem to create. In my part of the country the leaves have begun to show their vibrant colors, the last of the goldenrods are disappearing, but mums are in almost every yard. Hay is baled in the fields and bins transporting cotton are often spotted on the highway.

There is something about this season that makes me crave pumpkins. I love the smell of cooked pumpkins--pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin soup (really great stuff), yet I don't care that much for pumpkin pie. I found a new recipe for pumpkin cupcakes, just haven't had time to try it.

I think the thing I like best about spring and autumn is that both signify change. Change is both frightening and exciting, two sided to the same coin. The air is changing, the colors are changing, the length of the days are changing.

The excitement of all this change around me seems to inspire me, to encourage me. Perhaps I, too, can change something for the better. I could do with a change or two in my life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Last week I attended my family reunion. We rent a lodge at a state park in an area where my mother and her family once lived. That gives people from out-of-town a place to spend the night.

At one time we had a large attendance and I loved getting caught up with cousins, uncles, and aunts. Over time, things changed. Cousins eventually had their own families to raise. That sometimes led to economic problems, but the demands of time were the biggest hurtles. Work and furthering one's education took its toll on the fragile weekends.
Fewer and fewer cousins attended the reunions.

Then the older members of the family faced health concerns. Some are no longer with us.

I enjoy the peaceful setting of our reunion spot. Sometimes there's not enough hot water. Other times it is a bit too cold--or hot.

--But all of that is okay.

I have learned that all things are ephemeral. What is today may not be tomorrow. The smaller turnouts at the reunions emphasize this. Those I love may not be on this earth next year.

That alone makes escaping the world for one weekend worth while.