Life’s Recipes

I was cleaning out my bookcase full of cookbooks (Three shelves down to 1 shelf) and found a recipe that I had printed off and saved tucked into one of the books. I had to really do some thinking as to where I got this recipe. I must have had it for at least 25 years. It could have possibly been given to me shortly after my mom passed away (it was tucked into one of her cookbooks) or something I found which made me think that it would be advice that she would have given me if she were still alive.

I figured I would share it here.

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Life’s Granola Bars

¾ cup OATS ~  the “bulk”, used to keep things moving (and not just your digestive system!)    Make sure you have good communication to keep the relationship moving forward.

¼ cup ground FLAX SEEDS ~ As you grow together, start some new traditions that are just yours! (if you don’t have flax seed just use extra wheat germ)
2 T WHEAT GERM ~ As your start your new life together, keep some old traditions from childhood to remember where you came from

½ cup FLOUR ~ Remember your “knead” each other. (I use whole wheat)
¼ cup NUTS ~ do silly things together!  There is a time to be serious, but don’t be afraid to go nuts and get crazy every now and then. (walnuts)
½ cup DATES ~ go on them!  Do special things for each other to keep your relationship sweet! (or dried fruit)
Pinch of salt ~ Just a little will do. Don’t get overwhelmed with the small things. Put your trust in God.
½ T CINNAMON ~ …but don’t be afraid to spice things up a bit, and find new ways to keep your relationship colorful!

1 T VANILLA ~ the old standby…simple, everyday experiences together can add lots of flavor and meaning to your relationship…
1 EGG ~ Cast your cares and worries on Christ.  “Take my ‘yoke’ upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29
½ cup MAPLE SYRUP ~  Keep your focus on God – that’s the glue that will hold all the other ingredients together! (honey or molasses would work well also)

 

Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8 x 8 (the half size casserole dish) w/foil (the foil just makes it easier to pop out…) spray pam or lightly grease the foil.
2.While you gather your ingredients and the oven is preheating, toast the nuts and oats in the oven for 5-10 minutes (DO NOT skip this step…I did once and they came out really dry and hard)
3.In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together
4.Then add liquid ingredients, and stir together until you have a big wet clump
5.Spread mixture into the baking dish, and make sure to press down nice and hard to get everything compact.
6.Bake for 25 minutes or until done.

****Do some experimenting with different nuts and dried fruit. Some good combos are walnuts/dates, Almond/cranberry, and Cashews/Chocolate Chips. Enjoy!

Then I read a post written by Dillan DiGiovanni  titled “Relationships are Like Food: Rethink What Feeds You” in the Somerville Beat. (Somerville, MA) Full link is here.

In this article he describes friends as being in one of three categories: chips, carrots or granola bars.

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CHIPS: Your chip friends are the ones who leave you feeling hungry, even after you’ve spent time with them. There’s very little substance to your interactions with them. You’re drawn to the temptation of what you might get from spending time with them but are often left feeling depleted and craving something more fulfilling. Chip friends are often focused on keeping up appearances and/or their own inner lives/drama and personal concerns. They can be negative or take from you more than they give. They don’t leave you feeling very good about yourself in some way or another. They might be the life of the party but don’t really deliver when you need it most.

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GRANOLA BARS: Your granola bar friends are a combination of good and not-so-good things, much like actual granola bars. They’re a combination of whole nuts and seeds but they also usually have a ton of sugar in them. Granola bar friends have some aspects that make them attractive to you or others, but might have some qualities that leave you feeling a little uncomfortable or unsatisfied. Unlike chip friends, granola bar friends DO meet some of your needs in a relationship but might not fully fit the bill. Granola bar friends are fair-weather friends, doling out what they want when it’s convenient but might disappear when the going gets tough. Granola bar friends provide some of what you need and some of what you don’t.

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CARROTS: Carrot friends feed you fully with no side effects. You crave connecting with them because you feel healthier after spending time together. You can be your true self and express what you need and want and they show up the same way, giving and taking and making adjustments as needed. You feel full from the density and completeness of their presence and support. Carrot friends are honest, authentic, reliable and willing to be responsible for their imperfections. When you are around your carrot pals, you feel centered, confident and calm. They inspire and encourage your health and growth as well as their own.

People are imperfect beings and we are all works in progress, sometimes shifting in and out of all three of these categories on a daily basis. As adults, we get to choose how we fill our lives and our time. We can make space for people to be themselves, working through the challenges of life, just as we are. We can also choose to feed ourselves with relationships and surround ourselves with people who match who we are and what we need most.

I did a quick Google search on food and human relationships…… Tons of information out there from the basic “we are what we eat” to “food is a substitute for intimacy”. It seems almost anything we do can be related to what we eat….. oysters and chocolate can increase our libido; oatmeal, salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3s, leafy greens, and berries can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The list goes on….. After 2 hours of being bombarded with all the advice I read, I have decided that food is a very necessary part of our life. If it helps you to use food analogies in your life, go right ahead and do it. For me, I will use food to support my body and my heart/mind to support my relationships.

 

 

 

It’s That Time Of Year

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April Showers Bring May Flowers…… But around here, May brings mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and ticks. All of the rivers are running high and there’s flooding in various areas. The reservoirs are at near capacity and there’s more snow up in the mountains that needs to melt. The flooding gives us standing water in places where it’s usually dry. The farmer’s take advantage of the river water by flood irrigating their lands. I live in the country where most of the neighbors have four legs. (horses and cattle) So the result is a ton of insects.

The county tests standing water periodically and usually finds that the mosquitoes that are infected with West Nile virus by about mid June. The county will treat large areas of standing water with larvacide and insecticide. They have a fogging truck that goes around at night spraying around houses and buildings. We have called in private companies to spray around our house in addition to the county’s fogging. We try to eliminate standing water around the house, but still we get tons of mosquitoes.

Normally, every time you walked outside you would have to spray yourself with bug spray containing such great chemicals as DEET. (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)  We tried multiple kinds of insect repellents….. some even with “botanical” ingredients. The result, we still got bit – not as much, but it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to get West Nile virus.

A couple of years ago, we started using doTERRA’s TerraShield. In my opinion, it works better than the sprays we used to get and there’s no nasty unpronounceable chemicals in it. It even smells a lot nicer.

I have a friend that went camping a couple of weeks ago. The mosquitoes were terrible. Her husband insisted on using a well known brand of bus repellent that contained DEET. She used her bottle of TerraShield.Sealed NEW doTERRA TerraShield Outdoor Blend SPRAY 30mL 1fl therapeutic essentia

 

By the end of the weekend, he had about 20 bites and she did not have a single one. I think he may use TerraShield on the next camping trip. It even comes in a handy spray bottle. My first camping trip of the season is in 2 weeks. I plan to be bite free when I get home. But if I do get bit, here’s a quick and easy Bug Bite Relief Roller Bottle recipe.

QUICK & EASY BUG BITE ROLLER BOTTLE

  • 2 teaspoons of liquid vegetable oil (jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or fractionated coconut oil will all work)
  • 10 drops lavender essential
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • Empty 10 mL roller bottle (if using a roller bottle of a different size, adjust accordingly)

Mix all ingredients together in the roller bottle. Apply as needed.

 

TerraShield® Outdoor Blend

When it comes to outdoor protection, no defense is better than Mother Nature’s offerings.

Primary Benefits

  • Acts as an effective, natural barrier.
  • Can be used safely by everyone in the family.

Ingredients

Ylang Ylang Flower, Nootka Wood, Cedarwood Wood, Catnip, Lemon Eucalyptus, Litsea Fruit, Arborvitae Wood essential oils and Vanilla Bean Absolute in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil and Tamanu Seed Oil.

Aromatic Description

Herbaceous, pungent, floral

Description

When it comes to outdoor protection, no defense is better than Mother Nature’s offerings. Among these are essential oils which provide a vapor barrier for plants, protecting them from potential threats in their environment. TerraShield Outdoor Blend contains powerful essential oils and other plant oils known to provide outdoor protection in a natural, safe way. This newly updated formula contains a select blend of essential oils including Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Catnip, Lemon Eucalyptus, Litsea, Arborvitae, Nootka, and Vanilla Bean Absolute—all of which possess specific chemical compounds known to protect against environmental annoyances. The addition of Tamanu oil provides added support and through doTERRA’s Co-Impact Sourcing®, the harvesting of Tamanu oil is positively affecting the livelihood of harvesters in Madagascar. TerraShield Outdoor Blend is a powerful yet safe formula that can be used by every member of the family, outdoors and throughout the home.

Uses

  • Apply TerraShield to the legs, arms, and neck before going outdoors or diffuse on your patio.
  • Take TerraShield on camping trips or to outdoor events.
  • Spray TerraShield around your door, window seals, and tent.

Directions for Use

Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Topical use: Apply to desired areas before outdoor activity. Reapply every few hours as needed.

Cautions

Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

If you have any questions about doTERRA Essential oils, feel free to leave me a message. I’m not pushy and you never have to buy or sell anything.

 

Random Acts Of Kindness

I had a few extra minutes on the computer so I went to one of my favorite sites for ideas and inspirations – Pinterest. I searched for Random Acts of Kindness and I found a whole bunch of ideas. One was a link to a blog where the author for her birthday decided to do 35 random acts of kindness and blog about them. (she was turning 35 years old)  It took her all day and she had kids to help deliver some of the things. My birthday is coming up next week and I love this idea, but I would have do a LOT more acts of kindness to make my age  and I’m still working full time. So I decided I would put this post out on FaceBook.

“My birthday is Tues Apr 25th. This year instead of calls, texts, & FB messages, please  DO SOMETHING TO PAY IT FORWARD & then send me a pic/msg telling me about it. My birthday wish is to hear how you helped to change someone’s life. Oh, and rest assured, I’m doing this too.”

Here are just a few ideas if you need some inspiration.

§  Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you in line

§  Send a card to someone in the military overseas

§  Put something you no longer need on Craigslist.org for free

§  Tape a bag of microwaveable popcorn to a RedBox machine with a note saying “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie!”

§  Drop off a toy or game at a children’s hospital

§  Buy a lottery ticket and give it to a stranger

§  Buy an extra umbrella and on a rainy day give it to someone who needs it

§  Anonymously mail cash to someone you know who is having a hard time financially

§  Give a random stranger a compliment

§  Buy two of something you love and give one away

§  At a restaurant, pay for someone’s meal anonymously

§  Offer to help an elderly neighbor with their household chores

§  Buy a meal for a homeless person

§  Pay the toll for the person behind you

§  Leave a container of laundry detergent at a Laundromat with a note saying, “Feel free to use!”

§  Bring a treat to work to share with your coworkers

§  Pay for the person’s coffee who is behind you in line

§  Write someone a note to tell them how much you appreciate them

§  Buy a bouquet of flowers and start handing them out one by one

§  Run an errand for an elderly neighbor

§  Buy a car wash ticket and leave it on someone’s windshield with a note saying, “Enjoy a car wash on me. Happy driving!”

§  Volunteer at a food bank

§  Pay for the next car’s meal at the drive-thru

§  Donate blood

§  Pass along a great book you’ve just finished reading

§  Spend some time on Free RiceFor each answer that you get correct, the website donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Program to help end hunger. Plus, it’s free to play!

What other Random Acts of Kindness ideas have you heard of or done yourself? Please share in the comments section below!

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  – Author Unknown

Are Essential Oils Right for You?

I love my essential oils. I purchased my first kit 2 years ago. It revolutionized my life in so many ways! It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! For many people, including myself, there was hesitation to try them. I knew there was a difference in essential oils and fragrances, but that’s about it. I did some research and went to an introduction class and asked a ton questions. At that first class, I didn’t purchase because I wanted to do more research. After a few more weeks of research and really looking at my health and my home cleaning products I decided that essential oils are a much healthier alternative to the things I was using.

From all my work with people and connecting them to the essential oils and other natural products, these are the main signs I’ve seen when people are truly ready to try essential oils:  Image result for no to processed foods images

  1. You’re paying closer attention to what goes in your body: Maybe for you, it is eating less processed foods or even just drinking more water. Whatever the case, when you choose doTERRA essential oils and natural products that contain them, you can be sure what you’re putting in your body is pure, potent, and powerful. There are no federal regulations of what goes into essential oils. Because of that, doTERRA took it upon themselves to up their own standards. The Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) standard helps us be sure of what we are putting in our bodies. You can learn more about the CPTG process here
  2. You have kids: Come on, kids are gross. From being around other kids that are gross too, to putting random things in their mouth, and WAY more leads them to feel under the weather often. I know when I was little I struggled with not feeling well a ton–I wish I had the oils! Essential oils help your kiddos (and you!) stay well in the midst of all the junk and crud floating around their tiny bodies
  3. There has been an overhaul of your household products: Have you looked at your labels on your cleaning products recently? It’s incredible the amount of (100% legal) toxic junk in there. We absorb the toxins we use to clean, leading to a myriad of health issues. My favorite is those wipes people use to clean germs from kitchen surfaces and then use those surfaces to prepare the food they eat. They are ingesting those chemical through both their skin and their digestive tract. No wonder our bodies have a hard time fighting bugs. Luckily, essential oils are a perfect and cheaper alternative to what you can buy. doTERRA also has great cleaning products on the OnGuard line if you don’t want to make your own. I have a ton of recipes if you need inspiration!  Image result for On Guard images
  4. There are health goals you’re trying to reach: This is often why people first sign up! The goal could be to achieve a healthy weight, get more restful sleep, maintain healthy eating, support their exercise routine, and I could go on and on. I love to help people figure out what their goals are they want to reach and then the oils and products that can support them reaching those goals.
  5. You’re looking for different ways to manage your mood: It’s a crazy world out there, and if you mix in the stressors of life, it can be difficult to keep your head above water sometimes. Maybe you have tried different things that didn’t quite getting the results you would like. Or maybe you just need a little extra boost to your mood. Either way, essential oils are a powerful tool to keep by your side to support your mood. doTERRA even has two different lines to help your manage your emotional concerns! You can read more about how oils can help you make over your mood here.  Image result for Serenity doTERRA images
  6. You’re wondering if they will have the same benefits for you as they did your friend and family: If you have social media of any kind, I know you have seen stories that have caught your eye about your friend’s stories about how they used the oils. Have you been curious to see if they actually work that well? Could you get the same sort of results? The short answer is YES, but you won’t every truly know unless you try.
  7. Nothing else has worked and you are desperate: This is where I was when I started. I was so sick of feeling the way I was and that nothing was working. I was truly miserable and desperate when I was invited to my first essential oil class. Like I mentioned before, it was one of the best decisions I ever made to buy doTERRA essential oils.  Image result for Desperate doTERRA images

Do you fit into one or more of these categories? That’s awesome! I would encourage you to go here to my Essential Oils page to learn even more about the oils. Doing your own homework is a great way to empower yourself! There was a ton of research and questions answered before I signed up.

If you are ready to chat more about essential oils, contact me! I would love to chat more and get you hooked up. My website is: http://www.mydoterra.com/terrivogt

Responsibility, Respect, and Ethics

 

This is obviously a post that I have deep feelings about. I have thought about what I wanted to say for a long time. I hope you can take something good away from it.

Image result for idaho hunter education logoOne of the things I do in my spare time is teach Hunter Education classes.  The class covers a lot more than hunting such as gun handling, wildlife management, safety, survival, first aid, rules/regulations, and those three words I posted at the top – Responsibility, Respect, and Ethics.  Guns on television and video games have influenced our lives dramatically. It has taught us a lot of bad habits when using this type of tool. Yes, guns are tools, but I digress so let me get to the three words……

Image result for responsibility bannerResponsibility:   noun, the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management.

We all have responsibilities. Some examples are taking out the trash, doing homework, feeding animals, going to work, paying bills, and raising kids.  Generally, if we ignore a responsibility that we have someone will notice (imagine not taking out the trash or not showing up at work for a few weeks).  I have noticed that some people will blame others for the things they were responsible for. Have you ever been given a project to do and forgot to do it? What excuses did you use?  “I didn’t have the time.” “No one gave me the information.” “The dog ate it.” or “You gave me too many things to do.”  Wouldn’t it have been better if you admitted you forgot to do it?  You have to make a conscience decision to do the things you should do. You need to be responsible for your actions.

Related imageRespect:  noun, a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

There are people in our daily lives that deserve respect. Some examples are parents, teachers, policemen, fire fighters, military, and peers. If you really think about it, everyone and everything deserves respect. It’s so much easier to point out examples of disrespect – name calling,  bullying, starting/spreading rumors, destroying/vandalizing property, leaving trash everywhere, or committing crimes.

The last year has been full of disrespect in the media and on social media with the elections. I have friends who did not like the outcome of the election and have said so. That is fine. That is their right to free speech. I understand that and I get it. We are still friends. What I don’t like is the continued name calling, obscene gestures, rumors, lies, and destruction that is going on now that the president has been elected. A lot of this is being fueled by the media. The media publishes stories on the front page to provoke emotions. Mostly it’s something will shock, anger, or cause fear. These grab your attention and you totally miss any of the good things that they publish such as a group of kids shoveled snow at the Senior Citizen Center.

Earlier this year there was a cat that someone just dropped off out in the country near where I live. I have a feeling it was just thrown from a moving vehicle.  It was obviously dragging its back legs up to my house. I took it to my vet and found out it had a broken pelvis, broken leg, signs of previous fractures, and was malnourished. Obviously the previous owners had no respect for this animal.

I always take an extra bag with me when I go hiking or rafting just to pick up trash that other people leave behind. Almost anywhere you drive, you will find road signs shot full of holes. It’s scary to see what’s beyond the signs – roads, cars,  houses, buildings, etc. Some people have no respect for the land or property.

There’s a saying that if you have a bad experience at a business, you will tell ten people. But if you have a good experience, you might tell one.

Image result for ethics bannerEthics:  noun, moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.

Ethics is a difficult concept for many people to understand because it isn’t the same for everyone. Sometimes it is written rules, but, most often it is unwritten ideals. It is the values you have that make you act the way you do even when no one is watching. Driving is where ethics get bent a lot…… as an example….. if the speed limit is 65 mph through the Nevada desert and you can see no one in front or behind you for miles, how fast do you go?  80? 90? or 65?  Or you’re driving out in the country at 3:00 am and you come to an intersection with a stop sign. There’s no lights in any direction. What do you do? Roll on through or stop? Those are examples of written rules.Image result for 20 dollar bill picture But how about unwritten rules….. Here’s a situation. You are at a store and buy an item that costs $5.00. You hand the cashier a $20 bill. She hands you back two $10 bills in change. What do you do? Tell the cashier she gave you too much? What would you do if she gave you back two $5 bills? Let her know she didn’t give you enough? Some people would have no problem keeping the extra even though it is wrong but will be very vocal if they were shorted.

I hope you will think a little bit about these three words. Feel free to share your experiences or examples. We really do need to examine our own ethics and lead by our example. We need to teach our children respect and responsibility.

To  kind of get back to where I started this missive, a Hunter Education class has value for everyone. You may think that you or your family doesn’t hunt so a class isn’t necessary.  Even if you don’t have guns in the house, that doesn’t mean you (or your kids) will never go someplace where there is someone who hunts, shoots, or has guns.  Here’s a little secret.  You can’t actually learn to hunt in a classroom. What you do learn is how to safely handle a gun and be a good steward for the outdoors and the animals. You learn responsibility, respect and ethics. You learn wildlife management and habitat. You learn survival and first aid skills. You learn things you can use on a daily basis. Here’s a link for class information.

https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/education

Thanks for reading…….

 

 

Goodbye 2016

Goodbye 2016 Welcome 2017

As I sit here and reflect on 2016, I can safely say it was an eventful year. Lots of turmoil. Lots of stress. Lots of pain, suffering, and healing. But in spite of all the negativity, there was love, fun, and great times. I have met some interesting people, visited new places, and spent time doing some of my favorite things.

The first part of the year I did some work out of town. I would leave on Sunday afternoon, work Monday – Wednesday, and come back on Thursday morning. The 200 mile drive each way was always entertaining – from beautiful sunsets to the numerous animals I avoided hitting.

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Weather especially in wintertime was a bit dicey at times. Although the road department kept the roads plowed pretty well, there was one trip where we had 30-40 mph winds blowing the snow around. One section was white out conditions for about 30 miles. I was glad that my husband had come with me because it took both of us to make sure we were still on the road. Shortly after that, they closed the road. That was the only trip I thought I really shouldn’t have taken this job.

One of the stops on the way home was snowboarding at Soldier Mountain. This was a new mountain for me to try. The day I was there was overcast. It was really difficult to tell what was groomed and what wasn’t. Not knowing the mountain and having difficulty seeing the terrain made it very challenging for me. I ended up in some powdered area probably slightly outside the boundaries. As I was getting ready to leave, a guy noticed my snowboard and started asking me about it and how I liked it. After chatting with him for a few minutes, I found out he worked for the company. My board is made by a very small company out of Salt Lake City. They are imported from Austria. They are known for crafting high quality and environmentally friendly snowboards. They’re passionate about making boards that are lighter, more snappy and more durable than most traditionally constructed decks. The company is called Niche. Check them out.

http://nichesnowboards.com

This isn’t me by the way…..  It’s ****Treyson Allen*****!!!!!

 

My birthday present was a 4 day trip down the Owyhee River with some of my favorite people. I can say tons of great stuff about floating through an area that is as pristine as it was 200 years ago. There are huge rock formations, canyon walls that go straight up over 1000 feet, caves, waterfalls, petroglyphs, and of course some whitewater.

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Wapiti River Guides are the best people around to guide you on this adventure. Gary has many years of experience on this river. He can tell you a lot about the history of the river and it’s importance to the Native Americans and settlers. Pictures are great, but being there is really something special.

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Here’s a link to just one of many blog posts he has about this river. (and my first trip on this river)

https://wapitisriversedge.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/be-the-boss-of-your-own-island/

And I can’t forget the baby bunny! Image may contain: plant

Summer brought a bounty in the garden. I’m sure my garden would have done better if I had spent more time out there. This year the cucumbers were the veggie that did the best. Of course I just had to plant 4 different varieties.Image may contain: food and indoor

This summer I also got to catch up with someone that I worked with 28 years ago – Jack Beckman.  He is now the driver of the Infinite Hero funny car. It was great talking with him and meeting his adorable family. Image may contain: 4 people, crowd and outdoor

 

September brought us down to Salt Lake City for the doTERRA One Conference, Retiree Appreciation Day at Hill AFB, and a visit with Mike’s niece and her fiance. That was a jammed packed 4 days. We came back with all of the new doTERRA products, tons of new friends, great visits with family, and lots of information from the base. A week later, I had a successful surgery on my back. The rest of this year has been dedicated to healing. I am looking for an awesome 2017. This has been some of the great things that happened this year. I want to share one more picture with you.

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Goodbye 2016. Welcome 2017.

 

Holidays

This is the time of the year when everyone has big sales, tells you what you should buy, cook, eat, and how to celebrate the multiple holidays. I was actually called a “Scrooge” because I don’t buy into all the hype.
I had someone ask me if I had finished all of my Christmas shopping about a week ago. I said I don’t do any Christmas shopping. My husband and I decided long ago that we wouldn’t buy each other gifts for holidays. Instead we would plan a mini trip/vacation. Our kids are grown and through out the year they receive things they need from us. Why wait for just one or two special days a year to get gifts? We have one grandchild, but we aren’t allowed to see them. I sent them a card and a gift. They probably will not get it, but I tried. My parents have passed away and my husbands parents are in an assisted living center in another state. So in my situation, there is very little reason to go shopping.
We have a small house, so we just have a tabletop tree in our living room. (my husband bought it fully decorated at the Festival of Trees. The money goes to help one of the local hospitals) We live way out in the country, surrounded by trees, so we don’t put out outside decorations.
As for a big dinner, we only have 3 people to sit at the table, so why make a huge dinner? I cooked a turkey (the smallest I could find) because my hubby likes turkey sandwiches. No pies or sweets. (we don’t need them) No dressing. (I’m the only one that will eat it) No candied sweet potatoes. (Hubby is the only one that likes that)
We do have a tradition of having a stocking on Christmas morning. It must have 5 things and anything else that will fit in it. They are:
1) An apple
2) An orange
3) Socks
4) Underwear
5) A small toy (this year was a hot wheels car)
All through the year I collect little things for the Christmas stocking – Chap stick, special candy bar, small tools, hand lotion, etc.
I think it might be different if there were more kids around, but then with all of the high dollar, high tech things kids want these days, I’d have to work two jobs to afford any of it. I have a friend who waited in WalMart for 7 hours just to get a Hatchimal for her daughter. It was great for a few minutes when she opened it, but soon lost interest in it.
In the past four weeks, I have crocheted 13 scarves and 11 hats. Eight of the scarves went to veterans and 10 of the hats went to the hospital for newborn babies. The other scarves and hat were for my co-workers. I also baked loaves of bread for my neighbors. (including some gluten free ones)
One of my projects for today is trying to figure out a way to make a turkey pot pie for a friend who is lactose intolerant. Her husband had an accident and needed emergency surgery 2 days before Christmas. I will be bringing them dinner on Wednesday.

I donated several handmade items and baked goods for an auction to a group that makes quilts for charities. They have just the one function each year to keep them supplied with fabric and batting to make these quilts.

I think going back to a more simple life is very satisfying. I think most of us have way too much junk and stuff we think we must have.  I read somewhere that Amazon is teaming up with The Salvation Army and you can put items to donate in used Amazon boxes and Amazon will provide a free shipping label to send the items to a nearby participating Salvation Army Thrift Store. I need to check into this some more, but that sounds like a wonderful idea.

I am very happy with what I do for the holidays. You don’t have to spend a ton of money and have a stressful season. It’s much better to give from the heart than give material things that are really meaningless. Time for me to get off my soapbox and venture outside in the 9 degree weather to check on the chickens. Have a great day!

 

The Holidays are Here!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I’ve been reflecting on some of the previous Thanksgiving dinners I’ve been a part of. For the most part, there’s only a few that were real memorable. Here’s my top 3.

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  1.  When I was in the military, I worked in a very large shop. (over 100 people) We decided to do a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. We bought several large turkeys and asked for volunteers to cook them. One of my guys that lived off base said he’d cook one. So I gave him a turkey, a roasting pan, and foil. I told him to cover it with foil and cook it at 350 degrees for x number of hours. He brought the turkey in on the day of the feast. He had neglected to remove the plastic that covered the turkey or take out the neck and the giblets. Luckily we had enough turkey without his gooey plastic mess. He later confessed he had never cooked anything in the oven before and thought it would cook like food cooks in the microwave. He never cooked anything again…..
  2. One year, I decided I didn’t feel like cooking a big dinner for my husband and two kids under 3 years old. So I decided we would go out for dinner. Around 6 pm, we set out to a restaurant for a nice Thanksgiving dinner. The first place we went to was closed. The next place was also closed. The third place we went was open, but their Thanksgiving dinner was all gone. After checking a couple more places with similar results, we ended up eating at Denny’s. The kids were happy because they had whipped cream for dinner. I think I ended up with a roast beef sandwich.
  3. The most memorable Thanksgiving was a couple of years after we moved to Idaho. We were invited over to our neighbors home for dinner along with about 75 of their relatives. The only place big enough for everyone was the barn. The set up was quite interesting. The seats were hay bales and the tables were saw horses with sheets of plywood. Even though they strung up some extra lights, it was still pretty dark in there. It didn’t help that it was a cloudy day.

This year, I’m not going to do a turkey on Thursday. We didn’t know until late last night if my hubby would be working a 14 hour shift for Thanksgiving. He normally cooks the turkey on the smoker. I could do it, but with my back and my foot, carrying the bird and tending the smoker would be difficult. I have a turkey in the freezer, but it would not be thawed in time to cook. So this is our plan…..

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Thanksgiving will be a Rib Roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, and maple glazed carrots.

On Friday, I’ll take the turkey out so it can thaw in the fridge.

On Sunday, my hubby will be smoking the turkey.

Here is the recipe for the maple glazed carrots:

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)

Juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons ground allspice

8 drops doTERRA Cinnamon Bark essential oil

5 drops doTERRA Ginger essential oil

2 pounds baby carrots

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Coat large baking dish or roasting pan with oil.
  3. In large bowl, stir butter, honey, lime juice, allspice, and Cinnamon and Ginger oils together until blended.
  4. Add carrots and toss to coat before placing on baking pan in a single layer.
  5. Arrange the carrots in a single layer in prepared dish or pan.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake for 60 – 65 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to coat with glaze.

By the way, I am very thankful for this day, my family and friends, our good health, the roof over our heads, and our ability to help others. Please take a moment out of your busy lives and help someone less fortunate than you. It could be something as easy as donating to the local food pantry or dropping a few dollars into a red kettle. You have an opportunity to do something good every day.

 

Autumn is a Beautiful Time of the Year

 

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I am so grateful to be able to walk around and take in the changing foliage around my house. My walks are more frequent to help the healing process of my back. The trees are starting to turn into varying shades of red, yellow and brown. Today was especially pretty because it is a cloudy, breezy fall day.

I started this post a month ago. Since then, a lot has happened.

20141027_154607As I was walking around my yard, my wonderful, very protective, and easily distracted dog seen something in front of me to chase. (She’s 65 pounds of Australian Cattle dog and German Shorthair mix.)  As her natural instinct kicked in, she took off at top speed. She caught me in the back of the legs and flipped me head over heals. And of course I was home alone and it was starting to sprinkle. I couldn’t get up. I had my phone in my pocket so I called my hubby. He told me to call my neighbor to help get me up until he got there. When I called, I found out she was in California visiting her daughter. So she made some phone calls and got a couple of people over to help me up and get in the vehicle. By that time, hubby had made it home and it was off to the emergency room we went. X-rays of my foot and back showed it didn’t hurt my back, (it was well padded) but I broke 4 bones in my foot. The way they splinted it caused a lot of pain. Back on pain pills every 4 hours that didn’t help. I was miserable. Two days later, I saw the orthopedic doctor and had an MRI. I am lucky that no tendons or ligaments were torn so I didn’t have to have surgery to fuse all the bones together.

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Instead my foot has been in a boot and they are letting it heal naturally. It was because of this I found out I have absolutely no core strength and I’m very uncoordinated on crutches. I have a little scooter that I zip around on. It’s quite fun, but doesn’t turn on a dime. Some places I have to make 6 point turns. LOL.

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I have another appointment with the orthopedic doctor next week. Hopefully I will be out of the boot and doing physical therapy.

I promise my next post will be sooner rather than later. After all, the holidays are coming up and I have lots of fun ideas and crafts using doTERRA essential oils.

 

Helpless Hitchhiker

I do a lot of reviews of products through a company called Tomoson. They match up companies with individuals willing to test and evaluate their products. Most of the items come straight from Amazon.

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I recently received a seat cushion to evaluate. It was shipped from Amazon in Las Vegas. When I opened the box, there was a worm/grub type bug on the cushion. The cushion was wrapped in plastic. It was alive and moving.

 

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I contacted the company and Amazon. They immediately sent me a return label for the cushion and an apology.

I have worked with this company previously and have had no problems with any of their products. I have to say that this is not something the company is responsible for. This helpless hitchhiker came from Amazon and it was taking advantage of a nice cushy cushion.  I am a firm believer that when you are honest and you communicate with companies, you will be able to solve any problems you have including a helpless hitchhiker.

#ChiroDoc #SeatCushion #Coccyx