Archive | November 2014

THINKING ABOUT FASHION

As I read what some of the younger women on WordPress have posted about fashion and style, I started thinking about my own ideas.
Since I am unable to see, I can’t look at all of the pics to determine what might work for me, but a couple of descriptions caught my attention.  One was wearing a skort over tights.  I have often wondered about that.
My personal style is what I would describe as youthful without being too young for my age, friendly, mostly casual with a touch of dress up to it and modest but not frumpy.
I like jeans, leggings, tights, some dresses, sweaters and tunics – probably especially tunics.
I don’t wear heels.  I never really have, since I walk a lot.  I do like boots and comfy shoes.  One friend of mine has influenced me so that I have more than one really bright colored pair.  including my black ones with rainbows on the soles and brrrright pink laces.
I love earrings and have quite a collection of them.  I don’t wear large ones because I’m not that big and my hair is somewhat short.
make up?  Lipstick.  I have learned how to apply different things, but can’t see, so don’t have a sense of improvement if I bother with all that.
So here’s a question:  What is your opinion about how women should dress at various ages?  what do you think when you see a younger woman in more conservative clothes or an older woman in youthful styles?

I have heard more than one comment that older women should not have long hair; yet I know some who do and enjoy it.  What is your sense of that?

How about body piercings?

 

WINTER

forest fog winter tree

Crystal giants stand tall and proud
With their feet swaddled in a thick white blanket.
Their jewels sparkle in winter sunlight,
Accenting green wrapped in snowy shawls.

Courageous birds spread their wings
They soar in the ice blue canopy of sky,
Searching this land of wondrous splendor;
Looking down from lofty vantage points.

The shadows fall long and blue,
While Mother Earth lies quietly in slumber,
A snowy quilt tucked around herself,
Until Spring’s warm call awakens her.

UNCLE FRED

When I was growing up, we had a neighbor, known to us children as, “Uncle Fred.”  He wasn’t related in the usual ways – marriage or biology; however, he was truly our “uncle” relationally.

It was a given that Uncle Fred would spend holidays with us; he never had to wonder about that.  One of us simply went over to his house to confirm the time of his arrival.

Once we were old enough, each of us would get him a Christmas present.  When he came for dinner that day, he would sit to open them:  He carefully took off the ribbons, picked the tape until it let go, folded the paper, read the card…and at last, got to the gift.  I don’t know that I have ever met anyone who savored these moments quite like he did.

He brought presents, too:  A dozen eggs his chickens had laid or something he had grown in his garden.  Once in a while he would surprise one of us with a treasured item, such as a basket or some lovely ornament that had been his for many years.

I think Uncle Fred was at least as much of a blessing to us as we were to him.  That is how neighbors and extended family ought to be.

Is there someone you would like to adopt into your family this year?  Everybody needs an Uncle Fred.

WHEN THE DAYS GET SHORT

If you live in a more northern location, you are noticing that the days are getting short.  Where I live, they’re down to about 9 hours and shrinking.
Not only that, they are cold, sometimes damp and uncomfortable.
The bummer is, these conditions foster depression, illness and increases in pain.
So, here are some really simple things you can do that will help you feel better:

*Take a hot bath, preferably with some nice bath salts or bubble bath.  The hot water helps us feel better all over, even mentally.
*Chicken soup is lovingly called “Jewish penicillin,” and for good reasons:  With all that nice chicken, herbs, spices and vegetables, it is loaded with antimicrobials, vitamins, minerals, protein  and goodness.  Besides, it’s hot and tastes yummy, so eat up.
*Bundle up and go outside, even if it is just for a little while.  Daylight and fresh air have a way of picking us up; movement keeps our immune systems strong and our moods happier.
*If you can’t go outside to get daylight, spend some time under a 100 watt bulb, or my favorite, sit so that you get sunshine through a window.  Light is vital in keeping the depression monster at bay.
*did I mention movement?  I can’t say that too many times.  Put some music on and dance around the house; do some stretches, go to the gym, mall walk…  One half hour of exercise relieves pain, improves mood, builds resistance to illness, lowers blood pressure, helps with blood sugar management and keeps weight gain in check.  Take a friend with you; don’t stop to window shop and you’ll get some nice social time in as well.
*Eat your breakfast; include a protein.  Your body uses protein to make serotonin, which is normally higher in the morning.  It also gives us long-term energy.
*Take your vitamins.  Yes, Mom was right.  Be sure the supplement you take has a nice dose of B complex and Vitamin D:  Good mood food.
*Laugh.  Get together with friends, tell jokes and stories; watch some comedies; whatever gets you to giggling.
*Have some interesting projects:  Books, art, music, woodworking, knitting… You get the idea.
*Remember in just a little over a month, the days will start to lengthen; then, before you know it, spring will be here and things will warm up again.
Happy, cozy winter to you.

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING MENU

Are any of these on your Thanksgiving menu this year?
They were in 1621, when the Pilgrims held their first feast, which lasted for three days:
cod
bass
Lobster
seal
swans
wild turkey
venison
corn
squash
other vegetables
wild roots
herbs and spices introduced by the Wampanoag
They might have had honey or maple sap for sweeteners.
———————
No sweets, such as pies, cakes and other desserts – no sugar available for that.

 

Some of this was recorded in journals written by people who were there; some of it is conjecture, based on general information about the time period and location.

 

So what’s on your shopping list?

Bon Appetit!

PRUNE WHIP

Once in a while, it’s fun to share a recipe.
this is one my mother made very frequently for a period of about two years.  she absolutely loved prunes!  She could eat them just about any way:  Cake, rolls, stewed… I used to tease her by saying, if I could find a recipe for macaroni and cheese with prunes, she would be delighted.

The original recipe called for a can of italian prunes (or plums,) raspberry jello and Cool Whip.  I am a bit of a health food nut, so I reworked it:

1 pt canned prunes or plums
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup boiling water
1 pkg unflavored gelatin
sugar to taste (I put about a tablespoon of powdered sugar in the whipped cream, but most commercially canned fruits have all the sugar they need and then some.)
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Drain the prunes, save the juice .
2. Puree the prunes.
3.  Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water; then stir the juice in.
4.  Whip the cream with a little powdered sugar and vanilla until it is stiff.
5.  Stir the pureed prunes into the gelatin mixture.
6.  Fold in the whipped cream.
7.  Put in the fridge until set.
8.  Enjoy!

VARIATIONS:
+Add 1/2 cup fresh berries.
+Add 1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or cashews.
+Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

*If you want to dress it up a bit, make some extra whipped cream to top it.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking this would work very well with other fruits, such as apricots, pineapple, peaches or cherries.
If you try a different fruit, be sure to comment so I know how it worked.

MY OWN THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION

I’m not exactly the President of the United States, but I can still proclaim!

——–

 

————-While it is good and joyful to give thanks to God every day and for all of the blessings He pours into our lives, it seems especially desirable to set one day aside each year so that we may join with friends and family to express gratitude.

When the Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated in 1621, they had come through very hard times.  half of the original group perished, many before ever setting foot on American soil.  While we don’t know that they called this particular gathering “Thanksgiving,” the principle is still there.

Regardless of how difficult this year has been, choose gratitude.  Give thanks to God for all of His protection, provision, comfort, courage, strength, mercy, grace and goodness.  Know that He loves you intimately; He is Personally interested in every aspect of your life.

Go one step farther:  Reach out to neighbors, friends and family.  Let no one spend the day alone.  Lay down differences, fear and all other barriers to relationship, even if it is to greet someone you normally do not acknowledge.

In our times, shopping is already on people’s minds.  My challenge is this:  Set all distractions aside for this one day.  Enjoy all of the good things that you already have, especially those who love you.  Don’t worry:  The stores and all the hot deals will be there on Black Friday; you won’t miss a thing.

Most of all, have the best Thanksgiving Day ever!