Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Friday, October 31, 2014

fun friday photo ~ happy halloween

"boo-rella! don't need no costume here..."

 have a safe and happy halloween 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

thursday's holiday crafting ~ costume fun

happy halloween
This year... I am going to a friend’s home to help with her Haunted House, a project she and her family have been working on for months. Last year they had over three hundred people walk through, this year she wants to break that to upwards of five hundred. I have volunteered my photographic services. Her theme is CarnEvil- and I am going as the carnival's fortuneteller. This will be fun; it has been years since I have dressed up. Yes, that is a spider on my cheek- needed a little snippet of scary. here is a link to the facebook page- photos will be uploaded throughout the night.         Olive StreetHaunt

wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween – 
this is the last “Halloween” Crafting post...
next up is Thanksgiving- yippie, i love turkey!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

meal ideas ~ 3 spooky cookies

Here are three fun, easy treat recipes I happened upon scrolling through AllRecipes website. These would make a great tray for work or a party. Sorry I do not have the Nutritional Information and these are not diabetic friendly, but as with anything, 1 or 2 will not hurt you, just use common sense.

Witches’ Fingers
"Almonds act as fingernails and red decorating gel as blood for these finger-shaped cookies that will provide a great treat for any Halloween party."

1 cup butter, softene
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel

Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.

Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are slightly golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the almond from the end of each cookie; squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel into the cavity; replace the almond to cause the gel to ooze out around the tip of the cookie.

Witches’ Hats
Tasty little cookie and candy snacks look just like pointy witch hats. They are so easy a kid can help. Little bows made from decorating gel add to their spooky effect."

2 (16 ounce) packages fudge stripe cookies
1/4 cup honey, or as needed
1 (9 ounce) bag milk chocolate candy
kisses, unwrapped 1 (4.5 ounce) tube black decorating gel

Place a fudge stripe cookie with bottom side up onto a work surface. Smear a small dab (about 1/8 teaspoon) of honey onto the bottom of a chocolate kiss, and secure the candy piece to the center of the cookie, covering the hole. Use decorating gel to pipe a small bow onto the cookie at the base of the candy piece. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Spider Cookies
"Peanut butter cookies are baked for 10 minutes, topped with a chocolate candy kiss, then baked until golden. Great for cookie trays!"

1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration
2 (9 ounce) bags milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

healthy living ~ help kids have a healthy Halloween

Halloween is in 4 days and since it is on a friday this year, the kids should be out in droves; and kids need healthy living as much as adults. Healthy Living doesn’t start at 50 years old, or even 30 or 20, it should start the very moment we put that first bite into our chubby little mouths. Holidays are the worst for letting children over-indulge in “bad health habits.” However, you can teach yourself and your children ways to remain healthy during this upcoming Halloween season.

Even if you are not a fan of this holiday, you can use Halloween’s usual candy-fest as a "sweet" opportunity to teach your children lessons in health and nutrition.
Children are naturally drawn to salty, sugary, and unhealthy fatty foods, so this time of year is almost irresistible to them with all the free candy, cookies, cakes and other sugary “goodies” that are literally poured into their hands.  Research shows that sugar suppresses the body's immune system. Sugar can also be destructive to your family's health in a host of other ways.  
With a little planning and foresight, you can help your kids control some of those natural cravings, moderate their sugar consumption and impart some terrific nutritional good sense in the process!  Here are seven suggestions to help take the trick out of the treats your children bring home this Halloween:

Send your children out with a full stomach. Give them a good wholesome meal making sure it’s low in sugar, starches and bleached white flour.  Prepare high protein meals like chicken or beef with veggies like green beans, broccoli, salad and/or carrot sticks.  Have them drink lots of water and minimize any sugary drinks including juices, soft drinks, and sports drinks before going out.  Remind the kids that since they’ll be eating candies tonight, the deal is that they have to eat a good dinner.  They will be motivated to eat up so they can get started.

Offer to buy your children's candy from them. Even if it's 5 or 10 cents per piece, it’s worth not having them consume the unhealthy sugars, dyes and other chemicals in the “treats” for days or weeks on end. 

Have your kids trade in their sweets for a better treat.  Even if the trade is for one or more of their favorite desserts this is a much better option.  Make a special event of it by taking them to their favorite dessert destination.
Offer to trade those bad treats for healthier activities like going to a movie, putt-putt golfing, bowling or some other fun family outing.  The few hours you invest in having fun will make a special memory that will last much longer than a lollipop.

Offer to take your children on a trip to the health food store and let them discover healthier alternatives.  Discover new treats like healthy Kind fruit & nut bars- many flavors are diabetic friendly with only 5g sugar or  buy natural chocolate, carob, yogurt-coated nuts and raisins. The list is endless!  Remember treats are fun, not staples in your diet.

Teach your older children to read labels and ingredient lists. Encourage them to avoid “goodies” with hydrogenated oils and artificial colors. Making them an active part of their nutritional choices now will lead them to making healthier lifestyle choices later in life.

Offer the trick-or-treaters who come to your home the dollars you'd spend on the treats and convert them to loose change, passing out the coins to the kids.  Take a stand and set a trend!

A safe and healthy Halloween is something all parents want for their children. Teaching children how to enjoy themselves without over-indulging can set the pattern for healthy lives and stop the disturbing increase in obesity and diabetes type II that has become a major public health concern.

Monday, October 27, 2014

a Pilot's story, a Passenger's tribute, a Family's moment

this beautiful story was on Facebook, shared by two friends- It did bring tears to my eyes and I felt it should be shared here as well. here is the Facebook link in case you would like to share it to your board. Ken Koenan

Ken Koenen
My lead flight attendant came to me and said, "We have an H.R. on this flight." (H.R. stands for human remains.)

"Are they military?" I asked.

'Yes', she said.

'Is there an escort?' I asked.

'Yes, I've already assigned him a seat'.

'Would you please tell him to come to the Flight Deck. You can board him early," I said...

A short while later a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier.

The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us. 'My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,' he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military, and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the Flight Deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight, I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

'I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is also on board', she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left.

We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia . The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.

I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do. 'I'm on it', I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

'Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now, and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family.

The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal, where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.

Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.

I sent a message back, telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, 'You have no idea how much this will mean to them.'

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft', we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller, we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, 'Take your time.'

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said: 'Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking: I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.'

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later, more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of 'God Bless You', I'm sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA.

Foot note:

I know everyone who reads this will have tears in their eyes, including me. Prayer chain for our Military... PLEASE SHARE THIS! Please send this on after a short prayer for our service men and women.

They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve our honor and respect.

Prayer Request:

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world... There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.


Thank you all who have served, or are serving. We Will not forget!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

thursday's holiday crafts ~ one week- there's still time

Halloween is still a week away, plenty of time to decorate you home and outside for all those princesses and goblins that will roam your neighborhood or parties you are planning. Here are a couple of great websites that I felt had some terrific ideas.

16 Awesome Easy Homemade Halloween Decorations

40 Creative and Easy Outdoor Ideas from

Need some bottle labels for your concoctions? These are beautiful and wonderfully creative and printable from the Creative Blog Website. Check out her other Halloween ideas too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

meal ideas ~ cooler weather-bring on the soup

Cooler weather is coming, although much too slow for me; nevertheless, enough to start thinking about soups. I love soups and stews. Rice makes a great compliment to many dishes adding that whole grain to you meal plan.  And if you have diabetes, it doesn’t mean you need to cut rice out of your diet. Instead of starchy white rice, opt for whole grain rice such as brown or wild rice, which is rich in vitamin B and antioxidants

Albondigas Soup
Albondigas is the Spanish word for meatball. Our turkey meatballs pack protein into this slow cooker rice soup, which boasts just 12 grams of carb per serving. This is a new recipe for me, one that sounds just delicious and I plan on making it next week.

 1 egg, lightly beaten
 3 tablespoons quick-cooking rolled oats
 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
 1 teaspoon chili powder
 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 pound ground turkey, chicken, beef...or italian sausage ☺
 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1 14 1/2 - oz can no-salt-diced tomatoes, undrained
 1 medium zucchini, sliced (1 1/4 cups)
 1 cup water
 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
 1 medium carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
 1/2 cup quick-cooking brown rice
 Fresh cilantro

 In a medium bowl stir together egg, oats, 2 tablespoons onion, 2 tablespoons cilantro, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Gently mix in the ground turkey. Shape meat mixture into 32 (about 1-inch) small meatballs. In a large nonstick skillet brown meatballs, half at a time, on all sides over medium heat; set aside. If mixture is too soft to work with, scoop the meatballs out using a cookie scoop and arrange on a waxed paper-lined sheet. Cover and chill about 30 minutes. Roll into balls as directed.

 In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker stir together the broth, tomatoes, zucchini, water, 1/2 cup onion, carrot, garlic, paprika, and chipotle chile powder.

 Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in rice. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more or until rice is tender. Garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 129 cal., 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 51 mg chol., 443 mg sodium, 12 g carb. (2 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 17 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges  Starch (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 2

Wild Rice-Ham Soup
Each spoonful of this easy slow cooker soup tastes better than the last. Bonus: It’s low in carbs, calories, and fat.

5 cups water
 1 14 1/2 - ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
 1 cup cubed cooked ham (about 5 ounces)
 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped red sweet pepper (2 medium)
 4 cups fresh spinach

 In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine the water, broth, celery, ham, wild rice, onion, and thyme.

 Cover and cook on low-heat setting 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
 If using low-heat setting, turn cooker to high-heat setting. Stir in sweet pepper. Cover and cook 30 minutes more. Stir in spinach.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  124 cal., 1 g total fat 11 mg chol., 584 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (3 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 10 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Lean Meat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 1;

Asian Turkey and Rice Soup
This easy slow cooker recipe is ready in four simple steps: chop, stir, set, stir. Voila! Prep the low-calorie soup the night before, and come home to a home-cooked meal.

2 14 - ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1 pound turkey or chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (such as shiitake or button)
 1 1/2 cups water
 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin bite-size strips
 1/2 cup chopped onion
 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
 4 cloves garlic, minced
 1 1/2 cups sliced bok choy
 1 cup instant brown rice
 1/2 cup chow mein noodles

 In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together chicken broth, turkey, mushrooms, water, carrots, onion, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

 Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

 If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in bok choy and uncooked rice. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more or until rice is tender. Top each serving with chow mein noodles. Makes 6 (1 cup each) servings

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 190 cal., 3 g total fat 47 mg chol., 545 mg sodium, 18 g carb. (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 24 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Lean Meat (d.e): 2.5; Starch (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 1

Monday, October 20, 2014

my heart goes out to a friend

The son of a close friend had a traumatic biking accident a few weeks ago. He has not come out of his coma and the family has made the decision to remove him from life support and allow him and God to go to the next step. My heart goes out to my friend, Carmen, who lost her husband, Gary’s father twenty years ago. I can’t imagine what she is going through, but her strength through all this has been a lesson for me. Gary, through his missionary work, made an impact on the lives of many souls; who are going to grieve for this spiritual young man, it is all right to do so.

Change is something that happens each and every moment in our lives. Since nothing is constant, it may sometimes seem as if we are losing something whenever things do change. Understanding that this is part of our daily existence and that there will not only be gains but also losses in our lives can help us more readily accept and deal with whatever happens.

Whenever we lose something or somebody we love, it is important for us to take time out for ourselves and truly feel the weight of what we are experiencing. Although it may seem that doing so will push us into a deeper state of sadness, truly giving ourselves permission to be with whatever arises actually creates space for us to begin the healing process. This is because the act of grieving is a natural process, allowing us to sort through the range of emotions that are present in our everyday existence. Even though it may sometimes seem easier to involve ourselves in activities that take our minds off of our sadness, this will only make the route to healing more difficult. Unless we listen to where we are in the moment, the emotions we experience will only grow in intensity, and our feelings will manifest themselves in more powerful and less comfortable ways. Once we consciously acknowledge that these emotions are present, however, we are more able to soothe the sorrow of the moment. In so doing, we become more open to our natural ability to heal ourselves.

Grieving doesn’t have to be a process that keeps us rooted in our thoughts of fear and sadness. For the moment we might feel despondent, but by expressing and coping with our true feelings, we face the sadness head-on. When we allow ourselves to accept and deal with our loss fully, we will then be able to continue our life’s journey with a much more positive and accepting outlook. This will make it easier for us to see that our grief is ephemeral and, just like our moments of happiness, it will also come to pass.

My love to you Carmen and your family

Friday, October 17, 2014

fun friday photo ~ peanut courage

“no squirrel in the world has more courage 
than the squirrel who can stop after eating one peanut.” 
...Monte de Moocher is not that squirrel...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

thursday's holiday crafting ~ my october/fall wreath

Here is my traditional holiday wreath basket for this October. I love collecting bristle ornaments and started using them on wreaths; not really having a tree to decorate. I started using it as a basket last year when I discovered I could be more creative and didn't have to worry about how to hang the wreath.The wreath material is branches from my birch in the back yard. Every September or October it gets trimmed and my tree guys save me some branches, over the years they have learned just what branch is the kind I want.  After a couple of hours of weaving- wallah I have a circle or basket- it is really fun to make your own, or can be purchased. I am getting good enough now that they last beyond one season. ha!

and of course my wonderful and traditional Jesse ornament, a gift from my dear friend Liz in the UK

Here are a couple of other really beautiful ideas that I found on Pinterest via New England Wreath (left) and Etsy (right) I really like these two- these links are great resources to spark ideas of your own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

meal ideas ~ no cook meals!

What do you do when your stomach is rumbling but you just don't feel like cooking? Turn to these yummy no-cook meals! These easy recipes will satisfy and require only a little chopping, stirring, or mixing- thank you again

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Wraps
You'll love these smoked salmon breakfast wraps you can fix without cooking and grab on the go. Instead of the traditional bagels, this protein-rich take on lox and cream cheese uses whole wheat tortillas.
1/3 cup light cream cheese spread
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 6 - 7 - inches whole wheat flour tortillas
3 ounces thinly sliced, smoked salmon (lox-style), cut into strips
1 small zucchini, trimmed
Lemon wedges (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, chives, lemon peel, and lemon juice until smooth. Spread evenly over tortillas, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges.

Divide salmon among tortillas, placing it on the bottom half of each tortilla. To make zucchini ribbons, draw a sharp vegetable peeler lengthwise along the zucchini to cut very thin slices. Place zucchini ribbons on top of salmon. Starting from the bottom, roll up tortillas. Cut in half. If desired, serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 124 cal., 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 15 mg chol., 451 mg sodium, 14 g carb. (9 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 12 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Lean Meat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1;

Crab, Avocado, and Watercress Sandwiches
Ditch the plain old tuna salad sandwich for this smooth and creamy alternative. No watercress at the supermarket? Use fresh spinach leaves instead.

3 tablespoons light mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped cooked fresh lump or jumbo crabmeat
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Dash salt
8 thin slices firm-texture white or wheat sandwich bread
2 tablespoons vegetable oil spread
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed watercress, rinsed and dried
Fresh chives

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, the 1 tablespoon chives, and the lemon juice. Add crab meat; stir with a fork to combine. Stir in white pepper and salt.

Spread one side of each of the bread slices with vegetable oil spread. Arrange avocado slices on half of the buttered bread slices. Top with crab mixture. Add watercress. Top with the remaining bread slices, buttered sides down. Trim the crusts from bread. Cut each sandwich crosswise into three pieces.

Sprinkle with additional chives before serving. Makes 12 bite-size sandwiches.

Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through step 2. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour. Sprinkle with additional chives before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 107 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 13 mg chol., 178 mg sodium, 10 g carb. (1 g fiber), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 1;

Citrus Turkey Spinach Salad
Pink grapefruit and a light honey-poppy seed dressing transform the traditional spinach salad into a refreshing meal.
8 cups fresh baby spinach or torn fresh spinach
8 ounces cooked turkey, cut up
2 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Place spinach in a large bowl. Add turkey, grapefruit sections, and orange sections.

For dressing, in a screw-top jar, combine orange juice, oil, honey, poppy seeds, salt, and dry mustard. Cover and shake well. Pour the dressing over salad; toss gently. If desired, sprinkle with almonds.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 251 cal., 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 43 mg chol., 233 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (4 g fiber), 20 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Vegetables (d.e): 1.5; Fruit (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 2; Lean Meat (d.e): 2

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

healthy living ~ two great body scrubs


Put simply, a body scrub is a skin care product whose primary function is to remove dead skin cells through exfoliation as well as cleanse the skin and increase the body's blood circulation. Sometimes a body scrub is referred to as a body exfoliant, body gloss or body polish. The exfoliating component needs to be abrasive enough to achieve this but not too strong so as not to damage healthy skin. If you're not using a body scrub then you're missing out on a number of benefits that other skin care products don't provide.
Here are two wonderful new recipes that I found and tried... and both of these scrubs will make inexpensive but elegant gifts for the upcoming holiday season! 

Coffee Scrub
This homemade coffee scrub made with orange essential oil can help nourish skin and lessen the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. The antioxidants in the coffee provide a temporary anti-inflammatory that helps skin appear firmer and help prevent premature skin aging. The almond oil and vitamin e will moisturize your skin leaving it silky smooth. 

1 cup ground coffee
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4-1/2 almond oil **
1/4 tsp vitamin e oil
10 drops orange essential oil (optional)

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. To use wet skin and use a small scoop to apply scrub to skin. Gently rub coffee scrub in circles to help remove dry skin. Clean as much as you can with a paper towel then remove the rest in the shower or kitchen sink. Store in airtight container.

**Begin by using 1/4 cup almond oil and increase until you reach your preferred texture. 1/2 cup almond oil will make a thinner, more oily scrub. Best if used within 2-4 weeks.
Coconut Oatmeal Scrub
Use this recipe as a hand scrub in the kitchen sink. The coconut oil will thicken the ground oatmeal, so start with the lowest amount of oatmeal and oil then increase gradually to find the perfect consistency. To use the scrub apply a spoonful of oatmeal scrub on your skin and gently exfoliate in a circular motion.

The coconut oil aids the oatmeal in exfoliating your skin while leaving it silky smooth. The vanilla and coconut oil will provide a subtle scent to the scrub.

1 1/2 cup Oatmeal
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp honey
1 tsp brown sugar

Ground oatmeal in a food processor and place finely ground oatmeal in a bowl..Add brown sugar to oatmeal and mix..Pour honey, vanilla, and coconut oil to the oatmeal and mix until well combined..Store in an airtight container.
NOTE: Please use with caution if this is your first time using a scrub. Try a small area to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients before using on larger areas or face.

Monday, October 13, 2014

~advice from a dolphin~

The dolphin spirit animal represents harmony and balance. Dolphins are both highly intelligent and closely in tune with their instincts, striking a balance between the two states. Dolphins are also a symbol of protection and of resurrection. Their playful nature is a reminder that everyone needs to approach life with humor and joy. People who identify with the dolphin totem are usually peaceful and gentle, but with a deep inner strength.

revisit my posting--
symbols, totems, spirit guide ~ feb 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

offline for a week

Journey will be offline this week for some fun changes, photo and story updates; as well, I will be updating BernerTails- adding Samantha Kitty as the Bard for its tales. See you in a week. 

I leave you with this Thought on Life...

Friday, October 3, 2014

fun friday photo ~ just a small case ...

diagnosis...a small case of  caninecrainofelineosis
 "mess wit de kat n' u r mess'n wit me!"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

thursday's holiday crafts ~ more pumpkin stuff, lol

oh no, more pumpkin ideas? we have talked about beauty and meal uses using the beautiful fruity pumpkins. Here are four great ideas I have found for decorating this holiday season. I don’t decorate for the holidays as a rule...but these are stimulating my inner crafts-woman. Since I haven’t made any of these yet, I am supplying you with the direct link to the “how to” site. Hope you enjoy these and if you make any I would love to post the pictures and any suggestions or ideas of your own.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

meal ideas ~ pumpkins, fruit for fall

In keeping with honoring the fruity Pumpkin for Fall ~ good for more than just decorating your stoop this holiday season ~ here are some fun tasty meal ideas from

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
What to do with those seeds you had leftover from yesterday’s beauty ideas? Here is the perfect idea.

1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil; lightly coat paper or foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
 In a medium bowl, combine egg white, sugar, oil, lemon peel, kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; whisk until egg white is frothy and sugar is nearly dissolved. Add pumpkin seeds; toss gently to coat.

 Spread pumpkin seeds evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pumpkin seeds are dry and crisp. Cool completely; break into pieces. Makes 3 cups

Place in an airtight storage container. Cover; seal. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  72 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 25 mg sodium, 3 g carb. (1 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1

Frozen Pumpkin Slices
Craving a cold treat? Trade ice cream for frozen pumpkin. This diabetic dessert mimics the airy, whipped consistency of gelato, with a rich pumpkin spice flavor and crushed graham crackers to top it off.

4 squares cinnamon graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar or sugar substitute 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons dried egg whites
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 15 - ounce can pumpkin
6oz plain fat-free Greek yogurt, drained
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 oz container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl stir together crushed graham crackers, pecans, flour, sugar, salt, and the 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon; stir in melted butter. Spread in a 9x9x2-inch square baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring twice. Cool completely.

In a large bowl stir dried egg whites into the warm water; whisk with a fork. Let stand for 2 minutes. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the dried egg whites are dissolved and mixture is frothy. Add lemon juice and cream of tartar. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).

In a medium bowl stir together pumpkin, yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Gently fold egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture. Fold in the whipped topping.

Lightly coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of the loaf pan. Spread 4 cups of the pumpkin mixture evenly over the graham cracker mixture. Evenly sprinkle the remaining graham cracker mixture over the pumpkin mixture in loaf pan, pressing in slightly. Top with the remaining pumpkin mixture, spreading evenly. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

To serve, invert onto a chilled serving platter. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before cutting into slices.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 133 cal., 6 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 5 mg chol., 90 mg sodium, 19 g carb. (1 g fiber, 10 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0; Fat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1

Cinnamon Baked Pumpkin
For a twist on tradition, we transformed pumpkin from the usual pie into an enchanting side dish.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 pounds baking pumpkin  peeled, seeded, cut into 3"pieces x 1/4" thick)
2 tablespoons roasted peanut oil, peanut oil, cooking oil, or butter, melted

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a 3-quart rectangular baking dish, toss pumpkin with oil. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over pumpkin.

Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and stir pumpkin. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until pumpkin is tender. Makes 10 (3/4-cup) servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 106 cal., 3 g total fat 169 mg sodium, 20 g carb. 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 0.5;