July 30, 2010

Weekly Thought #4

Shearing, Dickson, TN - George Meek, May 2009

It is not about your life.  It is about how effective you live your life.
---Focus on the Family Radio Broadcast
July 29, 2010

Have a great weekend!

Judy :)

08/08/10  Linked with Notes From A Cottage Industry.

July 28, 2010

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I tried this new recipe last night and really loved it.  I found this recipe at a website called 101 Cookbooks.  You can find this recipe here.  Since I am working on the 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil, I was excited to find a cookie recipe with whole grains.  This has rolled oats, whole wheat flour, and wheat brain.  (For any of you who liked my Nutritious Oatmeal Bran Muffins, you could use the oat bran in this recipe in exchange for the wheat bran.)

I only made a couple of changes to the recipe.  Instead of using dark brown sugar or Muscovado sugar, I used Turbinado sugar.  It was getting old and clumpy and needed to be used.  This may have changed the texture a little bit.  I have found Turbinado sugar tends to do that when I cook with it.  Also for the 10 oz of semi-sweet chocolate bar, I used less than 1/2 of a 11.5 oz bag each of Milk Chocolate Chips and Dark Chocolate Chips.  I was out of semi-sweet or I would have used 10 oz of them and I didn't have any chocolate bars.

The cookies turned out crunchy, chewy and would make great cookies to sandwich ice cream between.  They were scrumptious and even approved by my 17 year old!

Pop on over to 101 Cookbooks and check out her website.  I believe she is a vegetarian and all of her recipes look delicious.  In this part of the country, the problem sometimes is finding the ingredients.  Have a great Wednesday!

Judy :)

07/30/10 Note:  Linked to The Inspired Room.  These cookies have "inspired" me because you can eat healthy even when you are having a treat!  Hope everyone enjoys these.

July 25, 2010

8 Weeks To Optimum Health - Week 2

Here are the "rules" for Week 2:
  • Check your water.  Contact your water company for contaminates or have it sent off to be tested.  Do not drink chlorinated water.  Drink filtered water or bottled water only.
  • Eat salmon once this week and broccoli twice this week.  Choose wholegrain breads or cereals.  Try something made with soy.  Try to substitute green tea for coffee.
  • Add mixed carotenes to your supplements of Vitamins C & D3.  Take 10,000 to 15,000 IU of beta-carotene with related compounds such as alpha-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.  The mixture must contain lycopene to give the full benefits.
  • Walk - 15 minutes.  Add some hills, if possible.
  • Visit a park.  Try a one day news fast - don't watch, listen, or read any news for a period of 24 hours.  Continue with the breath observation for 5 minutes each day.  For 1 minute, practice beginning your breath cycle with exhalation and ending with inhalation -- concentrate on this while you do the exercise.
  • Pay attention to mental imagery.  What has strong emotional impact?  How can you adopt them for healing visualization?
In order to be honest with you all, I have done week one several times, but never made it to week 2.  Now starts the new ground.  I plan to look for the Wild Alaskan salmon again this week, and make something with tofu.  I have a wonderful cookbook for a vegetarian restaurant in Athens, GA called The Grit.  They had wonderful food and used tofu in several of their dishes.  The rest I'll figure out as I go along.

Have a great and healthy week!

Judy :)

Week 1 Done! - 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

Here is a run down of week one and how I did:
  • Throw out Partially Hydrogenated Oils & Transfatty Acids.  Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I didn’t have any TFA’s except Crisco.  I only use Crisco for biscuits and only fix them about twice a month, so I decided that would be my splurge.  I love my buttermilk biscuits.   Mmmmm.   Throw out artificial sweeteners.  I made this decision years ago.  There are no artificial sweeteners in my house.  Did you know that there have been no claims to have lost weight by drinking diet drinks?  Throw out anything with artificial coloring.  I decided I would do this as I went and haven’t run across any yet.
  • Eat broccoli twice this week.  Done!  Eat salmon once this week.  One of our grocery stores used to carry frozen Wild Alaska Salmon and I couldn’t find it!  I will keep looking.  I did buy Eggland’s Best Eggs which are high in Omega 3’s.  I use these in everything I bake or cook.  Eggs are my go to meal whenever I don’t feel like cooking.  I love them.  This will have to do until I can check other stores for their salmon supply. 
  • Supplements:  Vitamin C, 200 mg and Vitamin D3, 1000 IU per day.  I’m still putting this off until I can give my doctor a list all at once.  I do take Vitamin C when I have a cold coming on and have been prescribed Vitamin D when it has been low, so I’m sure it is okay.  My doctor watches my levels on Vitamin D and Calcium.
  • Exercise - Walk 10 minutes/day - 5 days this week.  I almost succeeded in this one.  I exercised 10 minutes on the Elliptical 3 days this week, and walked about ½ hour outside on our 13.5 acres.  The radiator cap popped off the tractor when my son was bush hogging the property this week.  We walked to the back of the property and back looking for it…a literal needle in a haystack.  EBay should be delivering a new one tomorrow!  I’ll do better this next week and get the total 5 days in.
  • Mental/Spiritual - make a list of illnesses or injuries you recovered from in the past 2 years.  Made the mental list.  About a year ago, I was in the hospital for a virus that attacked my transplanted kidney.  My body is still healing and fighting this virus.  It is not totally out of my system yet, but the count is down from millions to about 1400.  Maybe these eight weeks will knock the rest of it out!  Practice breath observation for 5 minutes everyday.  This was wonderful when I remembered to do it!  I found it is difficult to only concentrate on breath for 5 minutes…my mind tended to drift, but toward the end of the week I was much better at it.  I found I have to set my alarm before I begin or I worry too much on the time.  The time actually flies and when the five minutes is up I felt like I had a mini-nap.  Such a relaxing time in the day!  AND buy some flowers.  Flowers were purchased and enjoyed.  It is so nice to see blooms in the house.
I will post sometime later today the next week’s to do list.
So far a pretty great success!

July 19, 2010

Queen Bee Designs by Amanda

I love this necklace!  There doesn't seem to be many necklaces or rings for mother's with only one child.  You see the mother's rings made up of each child's birthstone, but that doesn't work well for one child.  There are many necklaces also made up with each child's birthstone set with a stick figure boy or girl to represent each child that you have.  These just don't work for us one child moms.

Queen Bee Designs solved this for me.  I saw her advertisements on several blogs that I read so I clicked over to see what she had to offer.  She has many different necklaces already designed or you can design your own.  I based my necklace on her "Three's A Charm" necklace.  Amanda is super easy to work with.  I came up with my own words and even added the fresh water pearl.

The medallions and chain are sterling silver and your purchase comes packaged in a box with a ribbon ready to give as a gift.

Check out her blogsite at queenbeedesignsbyamanda.blogspot.com.

Judy :)

July 18, 2010

8 Weeks to Optimum Health - Beginning

This is a wonderful book if you are interested in health and nutrition and applying it to your life.  The book is written by Dr. Andrew Weil.  I first saw Dr. Weil in an interview on a television show.  He caught my attention in the way he looked at the whole body when diagnosing a condition.  This book went on the market several years ago.  We purchased it and I read it.  I put some of the thoughts of the book into our lifestyle, but did not try the whole program.  I guess now that I am reaching age 45, I am more interested in working and changing my lifestyle to keep my health.

Week One is starting for me today.  Here are the items I am supposed to concentrate on for the first week of this program:
  • Throw out Partially Hydrogenated Oils & Transfatty Acids.  Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  (This is not much of a problem now since the USDA began regulating the use of these oils.  Dr. Weil was about 10 years ahead of them!)  Throw out artificial sweeteners.  (No problem.  I won't touch them.)  Throw out anything with artificial coloring.  (I'll have to read labels.)  Fat intake should = 30% of calories.  Example:  2000 calories/day = 600 from fat (70 grams).  Keep saturated fats as low as possible.
  • Eat broccoli twice this week.  Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables.  You can peel the fibrous stems of broccoli and they taste pretty good too.  Eat salmon once this week.  Salmon is high is omega 3's.  Be careful of the source of your Salmon.  Wild Alaskan Salmon is recommended.
  • Supplements:  Vitamin C, 200 mg and Vitamin D3, 1000 IU per day.  (I'll have to check with my Doctor on this.)
  • Exercise - Walk 10 minutes/day - 5 days this week.
  • Mental/Spiritual - make a list of illnesses or injuries you recovered from in the past 2 years.  This exercise helps you realize the healing capacity of your body.  Practice breath observation for 5 minutes everyday - sit comfortably with your back straight, lightly close your eyes, and simply inhale and exhale concentrating on your breath and the points at which one phase changes into the other.  AND buy some flowers.  Flowers show the beauty of nature and delight your senses.  (I think I like LOVE this one!)
Dr. Weil, of course, discusses each of these in detail in his book.

My purpose for beginning this program is to:
  1. Lose a little weight.  In the past 6 - 7 months, I have gained a little and my clothing is getting tight.  I'd rather lose weight than buy new clothing.  Definitely!
  2. Get on an exercise program.  That has definitely been lacking.  After tax season, I used my bonus to buy a nice elliptical trainer.  It's time to put that into use before my husband and son get on to me!
  3. It will do my husband and me a world of good to get our diet back under control.
I'll let you know how my first week goes next week and let you know what the second week looks like.

Healthy living!

Judy :)

July 16, 2010

It's A Salad Party

Traci at Beneath My Heart is having a Salad Party.

Since I just posted my Sour Cream Potato Salad a few days ago, I am going to add that post to her Salad Party.  If you are interested in some new salads, head that direction by clicking on the link above.  There are some yummy salads already listed.  Enjoy!

~Judy :)

July 7, 2010

Weekly Thought - Week 3

This week's weekly thought comes once again from listening to American Family Radio (AFR) on my way to work.  If I hear something and it appears again and again in my thoughts, then I feel that it must be good enough to get down on paper.

In Luke 9:59-62, Jesus asked some men to follow him and they had excuses.  One said he must go tell his parents good-bye. One said he needed to go bury his father first.  Jesus told the men that they did not need to look back, but needed to move forward for the kingdom of God.  This passage was never resolved in my brain.  While it must have been an honor to be asked to follow Jesus, it seemed harsh to have to leave everything behind to do so. 

The speaker on AFR gave an example of moving to a new town and finding a congregation to worship with.  We seem to look for churches that meet our needs.  Do they have members in our age group?  Do they have children?  Are they large enough?  Do we like the preacher?  Is the location convenient?  Do they have Wednesday night meals?  Instead we need to look for a church that will help us to meet God's needs.  Can we participate in mission work?  Can we work in a jail ministry?  Can we teach bible classes?  Does the youth group participate in service to the community?  Can we actively do work for God?

Looking back over our many moves, it seems we chose the congregations we worshipped with by what they could do for us not what we could do for God.  We have been very blessed with the congregations we attended and were able to do much work for Him.  We have been involved with visitation groups, benevolence work, meeting newcomers to the community, teaching bible classes, working with Vacation Bible Schools, and much more.  But what works might we have missed and could have finished, if that was our emphasis from the beginning?

Back to the scripture above, maybe Jesus didn't want someone following him to see which of their needs could be met by him.  Jesus wanted them to follow him so they would be able to meet God's needs and wholly devote their life to God's work.  We need to leave our needs behind and concentrate on meeting the needs of God to further His kingdom.

There was a song we sang when I was a little girl that fits this thought well.  I couldn't find the song in any of our church song books, but I did find it in a poem on the internet:

Christ has no hands but our hands, to do his work today.
He has no feet but our feet, to lead men in his way.
He has no lips but our lips, to tell men how he died;
He has no self but ourselves, to bring men to his side.

What if our hands are busy, with other work than his?
What if our feet are straying where sin’s allurement is?
What if our lips are saying the things his lips would scorn?
How can we hope to help him, and hasten his return?


Think about it.  :)

July 5, 2010

July 4th Recipe - Sour Cream Potato Salad

This potato salad recipe has become my ultimate favorite potato salad.  My sister-in-law, Leta, saw a recipe similar to this one prepared on a cooking channel.  She made it for a family gathering out of her head and I have further adapted it for our tastes.  My recipe leans more toward a baked potato theme.  Hope you enjoy it!

Sour Cream Potato Salad

Unpeeled or peeled red potatoes, cut in bite size pieces and boiled, about 8 - 9 medium potatoes

6 slices of bacon, diced, and fried crisp

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh dill or dill weed, to taste

1 Tablespoon apple cider or white vinegar

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3-4 green onions

Cook the potatoes and fry the bacon crisp.  Combine dill or dill weed, vinegar, sour cream and mayonnaise until smooth and creamy.  Add dressing and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to cooled potatoes.  Slice green onions and their stems.  Sprinkle extra 1/2 cup on cheddar cheese on top of potato mixture, then sprinkle green onion and crisp bacon pieces.

I am not a huge raw onion fan.  I love the taste that an onion leaves behind, but just don't like the bite.  Leaving the onions on top of the salad allows the onion lovers to get as much as onion as they want and allows folks like me to dig deeper to leave the onions behind.

Hope you enjoy the salad.  It is delicious!

Note:  July 16 - I am adding this post to a Salad Party at Beneath My Heart.  Click on over there and enjoy some new salad recipes!

~Judy :)

3/20/12 Some great recipes are found at Beauty & Bedlam's Tasty Tuesdays.  I'm linking up today here.:

Beauty and Bedlam

July 2, 2010

Diane's Etsy Store

My cousin,  Diane, has always been very talented.  She excels at sewing, crocheting, drawing, painting, photography, and scrapbooking to name just a few.  Diane's mother and my mother are sisters and are both talented in their own right with many of the same skills.   I didn't receive a full dose of those genes.  I can sew curtains and pillows - things that take a straight line.  I am learning more about photography (I think a better camera might help along those lines!).  I can draw a little. But I can do nothing to the professional craft level that my mom, aunt and cousin have reached.

Recently, Diane opened an Etsy shop to offer a variety of her items such as stationery, necklaces, birth announcements, christmas stockings, digital scrapbook papers, and much more to the public.  You can check out her Etsy Store here. 

When I saw her Everyday Tote Bag-Purse, it was exactly what I needed.  I teach a class of 3rd and 4th graders on Wednesday night and needed a sturdy bag to hold a bunch of "stuff":  my bible, binder, flashcards, folders, overheads, markers, candy, and many other things that vary from week to week.  After talking with Diane about her tote AND finding out I could pick out my own material, I was ready to order.  I picked out my material at Wal-Mart (not much variety here, but we are getting a JoAnn Fabrics soon...can't wait!).  I chose a dog print for the outside, a black check for the inside, a black duck cloth for the bottom and straps, and some black stringy cording as decoration to go around the top.  I was a little concerned about how the different thicknesses of materials would work, but she made it all come together beautifully and it is very sturdy.

Here is the final product:

And, it even gets better.  On the inside, she has a zipper pocket which is great for my flash cards:

And a pocket for my markers, pencils and pens:

This bag is both functional and beautiful.  I can definitely see this used as a purse and might consider one for that purpose too if I wasn't so completely in love with my Ameribag.  I'll have to do a post on that sometime, too!  :)  Please do check out her Etsy store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/diturpin.  My next purchase may be her stationery...gorgeous!  Or maybe the Christmas Tree Stockings...hmmmm.

Have an enjoyable Independence Day weekend and be safe!

Note:  I just noticed that there is a pocket on the outside too!