Memories of a great Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains. We were snowed in from Tuesday until Friday, then literally had to drive on ice covered, steep, steep mountain roads down the mountain to shop. But we persevered, seriously scary, though, seriously scary. Ryan and his family were in Washington State visiting Lindsay’s family, so we gathered up the fur kids, John, Deanna, LC and I and trekked to the snow covered mountains for our turkey day, ummm, make that chicken and dumpling day, so much better than turkey. And yes, it was idyllic until we had to go down that mountain. But the shopping was great, so it was worth it.
And a picture of hubby and I that I actually like. We seldom take pictures together with LC smiling, so this is a keeper, and that snowy mountain is such a good backdrop. Even little Maggie is festive, all decked out in her Christmas coat.
So now I’m looking at pictures of sweet little Abby visiting her Great Grandma Baron.
And Ben, sitting on his Daddy’s lap, playing on the cell phone like a pro. No photos of Lindsay, though, she’s a mom, and moms are always behind the camera. :(
Deanna gave me this cute little snowman mug last weekend to sit on my coffee maker. I always keep my Splenda nearby in a vintage cottage cheese jar, and now I have hot chocolate in this great little sour cream jar that hubby picked up at a flea market last weekend. I put it all together this morning, and have a huge smile on my face just looking at it.
I’m thinking of making a sugar-free version of mother’s Russian Tea for the holiday season, but I’m having trouble finding Sugar Free Tang. Tang makes it, but people don’t drink Tang like they once did, stores don’t stock it and so far I haven’t had any luck finding it.
I posted a really awesome 2 carb, 25 calorie hot chocolate mix this morning on Jan CAN Cook Lowcarb - link to the recipe here - I stirred it up a bit ago, and it literally took under a minute to make it. You’re looking at it in my little jar, and it has hubby’s seal of approval. He loves it, and adding just a splash of half and half really gives it a great flavor.
And I’m happy to say, not that it’s interesting to all of you, but I feel the need to document this, after I gave myself permission to eat Thanksgiving Day and the eve before, I went right back to low carb and made it through the entire trip without gaining any weight. I didn’t lose, but the fact that I stayed the same was pretty awesome.
So I have a lot to smile about this morning. Christmas decorating is almost finished, shopping is 75% complete, the family is all safely back home, and I’m listening to Christmas music and looking forward to the holidays.
I just had a birthday, and I'm thinking about what I want to do before my demise, after all, the years are passing, I really need to get on this. For quite some time now, ever since reading Mary Alice Monroe's great novel, Time is a River, a wonderful story about a woman flyer fisher, I've dreamed about fly fishing. She planted a seed, and being in the mountains this week, seeing the shallow mountain streams, the thought of doing this has surfaced again.
Of course my family thinks I've finally lost it, but I'm adventurous, I can totally see them helping me out in a stream, with my waders on, patiently standing by me while I fulfill one of my last requests. They should do this for me, right? Ya, they should...
Today is my sixty-fourth birthday. It’s a raw, blistery day in Heavensville, we’re busy getting ready for Thanksgiving, but I’m going to be serious for a change and talk about things I’ve learned, some are repeated, because I’m old now, it’s what I do, I repeat ;-) But I am smarter, the older I get, I’ve lived life, and learned a lot. I think as I’ve aged I see things as they are, not the way I wish they were, but warts and all, the good and the bad, I accept life for what it is. I don’t ever look at life thru rose colored glasses at this age, that ship sailed long ago.
So here goes, a little insight on this my birthday afternoon.
Listen to your gut, it will never steer you wrong.
It’s okay if you go to bed a little hungry, it makes you appreciate what you have in your life and how lucky you are.
Everything in moderation, truer words were never spoken, hard to adhere to, especially for me who goes overboard, but it’s sage advice.
Surround yourself with positive people, friends who love life and laugh and have the same values as yourself.
Don’t expect anything from people and you won’t be disappointed.
Don’t try to do it all and don’t beat yourself up if you choose to do nothing. Do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do.
Grandchildren are truly a gift from God, they change every single day. Write down what they say, take pictures of them, love them dearly, tell them they are the most special little people in your life, and be in touch as often as you can.
Realize that you only have the power to change yourself, you can’t change anyone else, you just learn to accept.
The grass isn’t greener on the other side. Take what you have in life and work with it, today’s society is too disposable.
You can’t bullshit an old bullshitter. You may think you can or you are, but you can’t and you’re not. Old women are pretty smart cookies, sometimes we’re just silent.
Go outside and be in tune with nature every single day. Regardless of the weather, nature is a powerful, wonderful thing. Embrace it and you will be rewarded with peace.
For the most part, people often don’t really want your opinion, they just want you to agree with what they are telling you.
Embrace your wrinkles, scars and age spots. Your battle scars are part of the aging process, be proud that you’ve lived long enough to have them.
Accept what you can’t change in life and try to do it with grace.
Don’t complain, people don’t want to hear it.
If you love someone tell them, you may never get another chance.
Treat yourself to some new jammes and yummy smelling lotion, then take a hot bath put on those jammies, slather on that lotion and curl up with a good book and a cup of hot tea. It’s the little things in life that give us such pleasure.
Take time for yourself, learn to say no. It may inconvenience others, but you are the gatekeeper to your soul, nourish it.
Oh my, I could go on and on, after all I am sixty-four years old now. But I won’t, I’ll just sign off with one of my favorite sayings from one funny, feisty lady, Cousin Minnie Pearl.
Instead of complaining about getting old, just say what Minnie always said - I’m just so PROUD to be here!!!!!!!!
It's that time of year, you're out buying gifts and accumulating a mountain of receipts, they're in your purse, in your bags, in your coat pocket, and next month when you're trying to return all of this stuff, you're in a panic, trying to figure out where they are.
Welcome to my world, and finally, on the eve if my sixty-fourth year I had a moment of clarity and actually did something about it.
I went to Staples, spend $6.99 on an accordion check organizer, which I am keeping in my glove compartment and immediately upon leaving the store I will alphabetically put the receipt in the proper compartment, Last year, after being totally frustrated trying to find receipts, I put an envelope in the glove box and put my receipts in it, and it worked, I actually did it, but then I had to dig through the whole pile to find what I was looking for. Now they're organized and alphabetized and it's going to make life so much simpler, not only at Christmas, but all year long.
Great idea, huh. Applause, for the old girl, please.
I am always so grateful when my brain engages, and this is a great idea sez moi, happily patting herself on the back...
Drats, I should have taken a picture of my dinner, but I was so busy scarfing it down that I didn’t think about it until my plate was clean. You all know how I go to the extremes with the things I do, but the more I get into low carb cooking, the more enthusiastic I get. And now that hubby is doing it alongside me, it gives me additional motives to try different things to keep him satisfied. And the results are paying off, he’s down 27 pounds, I’m down 20, it’s working, not fast, well for me anyway, but slowly and steadily. And we’re not alone, my friend Nisha and her husband, Charlie are eating low carb, too. Charlie has lost 30 lbs., Nisha 17 and they haven’t been low carbing as long as we have.
Coconut Oil is one of those things that the low carb community just raves about. Over and over I hear about the heart health benefits, there are so many recipes using coconut oil and I absolutely detest it, I can’t stand all of my food tasting like coconut, so it has been sitting in my pantry, I’ve been using it on my skin and that’s about all because every recipe I tried with it, I ended up throwing out. Well last week I was in the local Vitamin Shoppe and there was a 30 something woman checking out, and she had the loveliest blonde hair, shiny, shiny soft and she was buying a jar of, you guessed it, coconut oil!
I commented on how I can’t stand the taste of it and she told me that she was buying the virgin coconut oil, the same nasty oil that I had in my pantry that I paid $17 for at Whole Foods, and she said she used it to condition her hair. She puts it on dry hair, oils it down, leaves it for awhile and then shampoos it out. Then she proceeded to tell me that I need to be buying refined coconut oil, that it has no taste. The clerk brought me a jar, it was cheap, $7, I brought it home and oh my, it’s a life changing experience.
First I tried frying eggs in it, and they were silky smooth and delicious. The other night I breaded chicken tenders with almond flour, and fried them in the coconut oil, it was amazing. So tonight, badly in need of comfort food, I had cubed steaks in the fridge, I put about a half a cup of almond meal in a bag, along with a liberal amount of salt and pepper, wet my cubed steak so the almond flour would adhere, shook it in the bag while getting my skillet hot with the coconut oil, added the beef, along with thinly sliced onions and cooked it until one side was brown, turned it, covered it and cooked it totally about 15 minutes. Meanwhile I nuked a bag of frozen cauliflower, drained it, then put it in my trusty food processor with 2-3 tablespoons of butter, some shredded cheese, salt, pepper and a splash of half and half. Processed it to make faux mashed potatoes, but this is what took the meal over the top. Gravy, wonderful, rich, sinful gravy.
I took out the meat, and here’s the unusual part, guar gum, you buy it in the grocery store or the health food store, and it thickens food. But you can’t just dump it in, and it doesn’t take much, you just take a bit of olive oil and a teaspoon of guar gum and blend it together, then I added half and half to the pan drippings, not a lot just about half a cup or so, blended in the guar gum and it made decadent, mouth watering gravy. I put it over the faux potatoes and it was absolutely sublime. Really good, hubby loved it. And yes, we had this cranberry relish, the recipe for it is posted on Jan CAN Cook Lowcarb.
See what I mean, I just get all caught up with the things I do and have to tell you all about it. But this is soul satisfying southern, homey, cold weather, stick to your ribs food. And you can eat! No more going hungry, no endless days of chicken and fish, it’s real food! It’s a beautiful thing, low carb cooking, just had to share this...
Okay peeps, it’s that time of year again, and have I posted a link to my annual Thanksgiving recipes.Nope, but I’ll get it in the sidebar soon. I’ve been as busy as a one armed paper hanger lately. I love that saying, it was one of mother’s favorite, but anyhow, I’m going to post the link so you can access. This recipe collection dates back to 2008, it’s my friends and family favorites. One of these years, I need to update it, but not this year, just too much going on...
Just click on the picture to access the page, click on the recipe you want and you’re off to the races. Happy Browsing!! ~ jan