and spirit...encouragement for your soul.

Hopefully this will be a place of resources and information for living a healthy lifestyle while feeding your soul. Recipes, links to helpful sites, words of encouragement and scripture....all to help you and your family make wise decisions for your life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I finished in second place! Thanks for all you support and encouragement!

I had a blast writing the recipes and the stories for the food blog. The competition ended Friday night and I was notified today that I finished in second place! I am very happy and excited about that! I would love to have won but ran out of time and recipes at the end. It was fun doing all those posts and I have a good start on a future cookbook? We'll see!

Many of you made recipe contributions and for that you have my eternal gratitude! Some of those recipes I remember from my childhood (Snickerdoodles) and others are more complicated and more recent (Red Fish with Crab and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce) and others are just simple (Thousand Island Dressing). They are all fun and I hope you'll try some of them soon.

I am still posting and editing. The folks have been very nice and helpful during the entire process. They have asked me to try my hand at doing some instructional videos and I'm going to give it a go. I have the camera but I don't know how to edit. I am vowing I shall learn to edit very soon. Now I just need a new dress, new hairdo, new kitchen, new pots and pans.....

Friday, July 16, 2010

30 Pounds gone! I'm almost there!

Tuesday I went to the doctor's office to weigh in and be measured. I was floored when I got on the scale and the assistant kept pushing the weight down and down. I had lost a total of 30 pounds! I was very surprised since my scale showed me two pounds heavier. Go figure!

It's been, and continues to be, a simple process but not an easy process. I eat out often and that makes a little more difficult. I have discovered that most restaurants will do whatever you ask. They are almost always very accommodating. The Copper Heron makes a plate of egg salad, chicken salad and tuna salad for me. It's not on the menu but Bill always tries to accommodate. Last night Wayne and I had to go to Altamont Springs and decided to eat at Carraba's. Being an Italian restaurant I was afraid I would find it difficult to make an appropriate selection. I asked the waiter to leave off the tomato sauce from the halibut and replace it with bruschetta. He did and and it was wonderful.

I have 18 more pounds to go. I know I'll reach my goal and hope the weight loss doesn't slow down as I near the end. Once I'm where I want to be I am going to transition to a mostly vegetarian program. I love vegetables, grains and nuts so it should be easy. Complex carbs are okay. I am slowly reintroducing some of the complex carbohydrates now. Just a little though. I dont' want to lose the same three pounds four times!

Thanks for all the support I have received from all of you. I really appreciate it. I am truly blessed of God to have so many good and supportive friends.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A river rafting kind of day!

Oh how I love a lazy, hazy summer Sunday. Spending it with good friends in a lawn chair on the dock watching the rafters makes it even better. River friends meander down the river on bicycles, golf carts or boats and sit a spell with us. Then they're off to sit and visit on another dock for awhile.

We sip on iced tea or something stronger, depending on the time of day. We return waves and greetings from the rafters. We talk about doing something constructive but decide against it. Someone rises from a chair, stretches and calls, "I'm going up to the house for some more tea, anyone want anything?"

Yesterday we managed to pull ourselves off the dock and take a boat ride up river. Beyond where the rafters put in we found a shallow, sandy area suitable for getting in the water. The girls got out of the boat and onto rafts for an hour float back to the dock. The water is a constant 72 degrees and very refreshing on a blistering hot day.

Since we were up river from the rafters much of the way it was very quiet and we were able to enjoy the abundant wild life. Otters were playing nearby, a mama duck with her hatchlings swam close to us. We saw little green herons, huge white egrets and the ever present water turkeys.

After floating back to the dock we got out of the water, settled back in our lawn chairs, picked up our iced tea and resumed visiting. It was my kind of day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Read any good books lately? Here are two I recommend!

I am sooooo excited this week! I have been saving my pennies (literally) for quite awhile to buy a Kindle. This past week Amazon lowered the price enough that I could buy one. It arrived a few days ago and as I was trying it out I discovered it was not back lit so I can't read in the dark without a reading light. I was very disappointed and thought I had maybe ordered the wrong one but upon further investigation I determined none of the e-readers are lighted. Bummer!

I am still absolutely in love with this little device. I already had a Kindle application on my iPhone so I was able to transfer my unread books to my new Kindle. It is very thin and the battery lasts a very long time. No more books piled up beside my bed!

One of the first books I bought is, "The Traveler's Gift" by Andy Andrews. I read it in no time flat and ordered the follow up book, "Mastering the Seven Decisions" by the same author. According to the two books, our lives are exactly a result of our own decisions. I know instictively this is true. The "Traveler's Gift" takes you on an wacky adventure to explain the seven decisions we make in life. Great story and very inspiring. I am determine to make better decisions.

Here are the basic decisions we all face:

1. The buck stops here - the responsible decision
2. I shall seek wisdom - the guided decision
3. I am a person of action - the active decision
4. I have a decided heart - the certain decision
5. Today I will choose to be happy - the joyful decision
6. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit - the compassionate decision
7. I will persist without exception - the persistent decision

Now to make my life better by abiding by these seven basic and spiritual decisions. A couple of the choices are no problem for me. I don't blame anyone else for my circumstances so the first decision is a given. I am enough of a conservative thinker that I know I am responsible for my own lack or prosperity and my own spiritual growth or lack of it. I still learned a few things in decision one though.

I am also a very, very happy person. Always have been and hope to always be happy! I praise God I do not possess a spirit of melancholy! I know that is a big issue for many people and I'm glad that is something I do not have to work to conquer.

Now that active decision is another matter. I am a procrastinator. I am determined to change....just as soon as I take a nap! Seriously, I have a tendency to put things off, lolly gag around and piddle. By doing the exercises in the follow up book I shall change. I am a person of action!

Another of the decisions I must work on is the certain decision. I have a decided heart! NOT! My procrastination is a result of not making decisions when they need to be made. Amazingly, when I'm under pressure I tend to make decisions quickly and effectively. If it's an ordinary day I tend to be lazy about deciding.

How about you? Do you see an area that needs work in your life? Both books are easy reads and the second one sort of a workbook. I have begun the exercises and can't wait to put into practice the seven decisions! Want to join me?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another new adventure?

A few months ago at, a lunch gathering of old high school girl friends, we had a discussion about what we would do with our lives if money were no object. Pam Mursch Steiner, who was unemployed at the time, said she would write. That is her dream and with some encouragement from the group, she began the next day fulfilling that dream. She created a blog called "Closed Doors, Open Windows." (See the link on this page.) She also began writing the book she had always dreamed of writing.

WELL....her blog inspired me to begin writing a blog also. I can't tell you how much fun I've had with this little project! What a blessing to have feedback from friends and family concerning whatever the subject of the day has been. I'm afraid I've been all over the place with the subject matter for these pages. I think that's okay as I simply write about what's on my mind and I enjoy doing it.

Here's the really weird thing: A little over a month ago I received an email from an unfamiliar person at asking me to begin a blog on their website. I was intrigued by the request and right away began writing a "How To" blog on cooking. It's mostly recipes from my young adult years and new recipes from friends and family. I am having an absolute blast with all these old recipes on "My Southern Table."

A couple of weeks into writing "My Southern Table", began a competition. They have a judge who determines if your new pages are worthy of the competition and for every page chosen they put $1.00 in the prize pot. The top three will divide the pot with half going to the winner, etc. I began to receive messages indicating my pages were being entered in the competition. Then I began to accumulate followers. The amazing things is the followers are simply all over the world. They are from Spain, London, Tennessee, etc. How much fun is this? (By-the-way, I am currently in first place with another week or so to go in the competition.)

Here comes the really interesting part. I was discussing the blog with a new friend who also loves to cook and happens to own a B&B. He is a family man who lives in Orlando and spends a few days per week in Tavares at the B&B to see to his guests. During the course of the conversation he invited me to make breakfast from time to time for his patrons. I may also make dinner for up to twelve people if requested. I would love the opportunity to entertain guests in this beautiful old mansion and I'm looking forward to working out the details. I am also very nervous about the planning and executing part with my lack of formal cooking experience.

My Juice Plus business is booming and I am training new people and helping them succeed. There is not a ton of extra time to devote to this but I don't want to pass up a new opportunity. Please pray for guidance for me. I'm going to need all the help I can get. Thanks!