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!”

Monday, February 22, 2016

friendship ~

There comes a time in all our lives when we may need to evaluate our relationships, making sure that they are having a positive effect on us, rather than dragging us down. Without realizing it, we may be spending precious time and energy engaging in friendships that let us down, rather than cultivating ones that support and nourish us along our path. Life, with its many twists, turns, and challenges, is difficult enough without us entertaining people in our inner circle who drain our energy. We can do so much more in this world when we are surrounded by people who understand what we’re trying to do and who positively support our efforts to walk our path.

We can begin this evaluation process by simply noticing how we feel in the context of each one of our close relationships. We may begin to see that an old friend is still carrying negative attitudes or ideas that we ourselves need to let go of in order to move forward. Or we may find that we have a long-term relationship with someone who has a habit of letting us down, or not showing up for us when we need support. There are many ways to go about changing the status quo in situations like this, having a heart to heart with our friend showing through example. This process isn’t so much about abandoning old friends as it is about shifting our relationships so that they support us on our journey rather than holding us back.

An important part of this process is looking at ourselves and noticing what kind of friend we are to the people in our lives. We might find that as we adjust our own approach to a relationship, challenging ourselves to be more supportive and positive, our friends make adjustments as well and the whole world benefits.

Sit down and take a look at your friendships and at yourself- do they enhance your souls' path, do you enhance theirs?'s okay to vear off and walk a different road, if they were a true friend your heart will never forget them. Who knows, you may cross again.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

meal ideas ~ more Valentine treats

Share the love by whipping up your Valentine's Day date with these delicious diabetes-friendly recipes. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cupcakes

Your loved ones will rave about these scrumptious cupcakes that ooze chocolate and peanut butter. They're easier than you might think to make, plus you can use a sugar substitute.

2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (not reduced-fat or natural)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
 Fresh strawberries (optional)
 Powdered sugar (optional)

 For filling: In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine milk chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave on 30 percent power (medium-low) for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once halfway through cooking. Cover and chill until mixture is the consistency of thick frosting, stirring and checking mixture every 5 to 10 minutes until consistency is reached (this may take anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes). Mixture will set up quickly at the end so watch carefully. Use two spoons to drop mixture into six mounds on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, using about 2 teaspoons mixture per mound; return to the refrigerator until ready to use.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease six 2-1/2-inch muffin cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, water, oil, baking powder, and vanilla.

Add flour and cocoa powder, stirring until smooth. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup. Set a chilled peanut butter mound in center of chocolate batter in each muffin cup. Spoon remaining batter over peanut butter mounds.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a thin sharp knife around the edge of each cupcake. Invert cupcakes onto serving plates. If desired, top with strawberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 193 cal., 9 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 2 mg chol., 51 mg sodium, 24 g carb. (1 g fiber, 14 g sugars), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 1.5; Fat (d.e): 1.5

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberries

This sweet diabetic dessert is a luxurious end to a rich dinner. Using fat-free half-and-half cuts the calories in this creamy Italian-inspired dessert.

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1/4 of a vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla**
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
2 teaspoons sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
Whole strawberries (optional)

For panna cotta, in a heatproof 2-cup glass measure, sprinkle gelatin over the cold water. Let stand for 3 minutes to soften. Scrape vanilla beans from the pod into the measuring cup; add the pod. Place in a saucepan of simmering water. Cook and stir over medium heat until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in half-and-half and the 2 teaspoons sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pod and stir mixture. Pour into two 6-ounce martini or champagne glasses or 6-ounce custard cups. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or until firm.

About 1 hour before serving, in a small bowl, combine vinegar and the 1 teaspoon sugar. Add halved strawberries, tossing to coat. Cover and chill, tossing strawberries occasionally. Drain strawberries before serving.

 To serve, spoon strawberries over panna cotta in glasses. If desired, top each dessert with a whole strawberry.

** If using vanilla, add it with the half-and-half and omit the standing time.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 127 cal., 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 6 mg chol., 177 mg sodium, 23 g carb. (1 g fiber), 5 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 1; Fruit (d.e): 0.5;

Monday, February 8, 2016

divesting and the move to Colorado

Last week I started going through my closets and study getting ready to do my “annual divesting” as well as deciding what items need to be taken to Colorado this summer. It would be easier to just pack up everything and haul it out there; but I have promised Steve, who will not be going out just yet, not to leave my study bare. He said it would be like I left him for good. :) I can understand that.

So with that thought, and the amount of room I have to trek everything going, I have made boxes to start filling up the essentials. It will be a task to be sure, and rough choices to be made- but I know it will get done. LOL. Just for fun I thought you, my readers, might enjoy seeing what items I want to get rid of, along with those that are my "Keepforevers," and will post the results over the next weeks. 

My goal date is June 1st, to have most everything selected and packed or- that which gets divested sold or given away.  I retire on June 21st and head out to Colorado at the end of July. However, I am planning those last couple of weeks for getting the finishing touches done on the house for Steve to manage while still here.

Item of the week: my Trolls

When all my friends were playing with Barbie.... I had TROLLS !. I spent hours upon hours playing with them and making their clothes. Here, at the age of 53 years old, are my original Mama and her three kids; with their last known handmade wardrobe- (not sure where the rest of the clothes are, maybe lost in moves past)

These are a "KeepForever" item. BTW: I learned to sew at 9 because of these little guys

the areas of focus......

 have Trollrific week  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

healthy living ~ tired in the morning? poof it away...

Feeling a bit tired after you have had a great, or you thought, night's sleep. It happens. Now here is the royal question.... Can a simple body-dusting powder help eliminate morning fatigue? and the royal answer... Of course!

What is a dusting powder?
A dusting powder is a fine powder that’s commonly spread, or dusted, all over your body. The powder may be unscented or may be perfumed. Historically, dusting powders were used by both men and women to absorb perspiration and help prevent body odour (they weren’t very good at washing in the olden days!) Many people still use dusting powder as a way of enjoying a favorite fragrance, to absorb perspiration and skin oils, and to prevent skin chafing.

If you want to behave like your wig wearing regency ancestors, you can also powder your hair with a dusting powder – a bit like a dry shampoo, if you’re in a rush.

In the 18th century, men's wigs were powdered in order to give them their distinctive white or off-white color, whereas women mainly powdered their hair grey, or blue-ish grey. Wig powder was made from finely ground starch that was scented with orange flower, lavender, or orris root.  By the 1780s, young men had given up wearing wigs and were setting a new trend of simply lightly powdering their natural hair, as women had been doing for all those years. In 1795, the British government imposed a tax on hair powder of one guinea per year. This tax effectively put an end to the fashion for both wigs and powder.

Body powder in this millennium is a normal part of personal care. Unfortunately some talcum powders are contaminated with asbestos fiber and aluminum. It makes me shudder to think that we put that on our bodies and our babies. Nevertheless, who can resist breathing in the sweet scent of a freshly bathed, powdered baby? A safe solution is to make your own baby powder. What I found is it's very easy and not expensive to make your own body powder.

Body powders can be made from simple things you have at home. Plain cornstarch, arrowroot, oat flour, white clay, rice starch, baking soda, orris root, and zinc oxide powder, are just a few of the things you can use. You can add dried herbs as much as you find pleasing and any kind you find pleasant, powdered cinnamon (like you cook with) to herbs like lavender, rose blossoms, thyme leaves, peppermint leaves, whatever you want.

need to get refreshed?
Here’s a stimulating, refreshing powder to keep you cool and dry and start your day off on an energized note. The chilling effects of the powdered peppermint and the concentrated menthol send signals to your brain that energy is abundant. Powdered ginger root revitalized circulation as well, but it is a warming-stimulant. Your body and senses are being bombarded by herbal re-chargers that say… “get up and go forth- a new day has arrived!”

1/4 c. dried peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon menthol crystals *
1/2 c. baking soda
1/2 c. cornstarch
3 tablespoons ground ginger

Grind the dried peppermint leaves and menthol crystals into a fine powder using a spice grinder, or my choice a mortar and pestle. Sift out the larger, grainy particles using a super-fine mesh or flour sifter, if needed. Combine the ground peppermint and menthol crystals with the baking soda, cornstarch, clay and ground ginger in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Avoid deeply breathing in the dust, though there is no real danger of irritation.

Store the powder in an airtight storage container in a cool dark place for 3 days to allow the herbal scents to permeate the mixture. Then package the powder in smaller containers, if desired.  use within a year.

Application- apply as you would a body powder, sprinkling or using a “puff” where needed.

This powder can double as a simple underarm deodorant for those who want to avoid the chemicals in commercial deodorants or as a foot powder for odoriferous tootsies.

*(the links above are only for information about the ingredient; although when needing to purchase my products online I do use the Mountain Rose Herbs site most often.)