Monday, October 31, 2011
1 package of stew beef
2 onions, quartered
2 carrots, sliced
2 Ė 3 potatoes, quartered
Ĺ cup apple juice
Beef gravy (I use a powdered variety, making enough for 2 cups of broth.
Pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in oven-safe covered dish.
Bake at 275 from noon until serving time Ė around 5 p.m. Serve with fresh bread and a salad. Perfect for Halloween evening!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
One of my commitments to a healthier lifestyle is to take ten to fifteen minutes of my thirty minute lunch break and get outdoors. I find the fresh air and movement helps me de-stress from whatever the morning has given me and I find myself rejuvenated and ready to tackle the second half of my day.
Iíve chosen two or three short routes to walk during this small spark streak and I try to ensure that I get out and go every weekday, rain or shine.
There is one walk, in particular, that is a favourite of mine. It doesnít involve crossing busy streets and is located in a quiet residential area behind the school I work at. The other day, as I was walking along the second half of this route I noticed that I was walking past a house that my Mom and Dad had lived in when they first were married. The place has fallen into disrepair and the neighbourhood is probably not the safest to walk in after dark.
I continued briskly walking up the street, heading back to work, and as I walked I remembered the stories about this neighbourhood that had been told to me. I knew that not only my parents lived in this area, but that a close cousin and her family and a great-uncle had lived on the street. I couldnít remember which house had been the uncleís but I knew that the cousins had lived in the other half of the house that my parents had been renting from them.
I kept going along, and I thought about where my Dad would have worked at that time and remembered my Mom telling me that he worked in the Cotton Mills, way on the other side of town, and that he often walked to work, saving the money he would have spent taking the street car.
As I rounded the corner and found myself in front of the school it occurred to me that each time I walked this particular route I was actually following in my Fatherís footsteps. Not only do I walk in the area that he would have walked sixty years ago, but my favourite form of exercise is walking. My Dad was a letter-carrier and walked a lot of miles in his lifetime. Guess one of his legacies to me is the joy of walking!
Saturday, October 01, 2011
You can't fail if you don't give up trying - Yogi Bear
Monday, September 26, 2011
Iíve been a Keeper of Goldfish since I was about 12 years old. My first golden beauty lived in a round goldfish bowl, but as I grew and my income grew so did the size of the bowls my fish were housed in. Today I have a 55 gallon tank in my living room that is home to three goldfish and one pleco.
My first fish didnít live very long, even though I religiously kept the bowl clean and fed him three times a day. I thought I was giving him the best possible life. How wrong I was!
My fish that live in my living room now live a very different lifestyle. The tank size is probably way more than what they need. The water is cleaned through a state-of-the-art filtration system and I feed them maybe once every 2 to 3 days. Two of these fish have lived with me and my husband since before my daughter was out of college. So, approximately four years.
When my children were young, we had a goldfish that was purchased as a feeder fish for under 50 cents. He lived in a five gallon tank for many years and lived to a ripe old age of 18. By this time in my goldfish farming life, I had realized that goldfish shouldnít be fed three times a day Ė as they will literally eat themselves to death.
As I sit hear thinking about my fish, I realize that my own lifestyle for some time was similar to that of my first goldfish. Munching during the evenings, eating all the wrong things, I arrived at a weight that was 50% greater than my normal weight range. I became borderline with high blood pressure and really did not feel well, inside or out. Since finding Spark People and choosing to create a life-style change for myself, I have been able to drop my weight into a good BMI range, my blood pressure is now back to normal and I feel so much better. Too bad it took me so long to realize that all the food I was rewarding myself with was not good for my health and that sitting in front of a television set was adding to my problems. Hereís to eating healthy and living healthier!
Friday, September 23, 2011
The last few weeks, I have had two people on my mind. They were the parents of a good friend from high school. I havenít seen or heard from the high school friend in 30 years and, for the life of me, I canít figure out why her parents have crept into my mind so often.
But there it is. I keep finding myself thinking of them and remembering things from the past. My friendís mother was like a second mother to me for quite a few years. I can remember her teaching me new crochet stitches and tips on sewing (she was a professional seamstress). Her husband played a key role in my obtaining my first Ďrealí job, and to this day, I work for the same employer. Memories of BBQís and meals shared with them have infiltrated my thoughts at the most unexpected moments. I can remember instances where my friend and her Mom would come to our house to watch beauty pageants on TV. Small, seemingly unimportant things from the pastÖ
Iíve also been working on my genealogy project on and off and have spent some quiet afternoons exploring cemeteries where ancestors might be found. Anyhow, the other day I decided that I would go to the cemetery where my friendís parents are laid to rest to Ďvisití with them and leave a graveside flower. This visit is long overdue Ė the Mom passed away in 1996 and the Dad in 1978. I remember going to the fatherís wake, but I canít remember the motherís wake at all. I figured out which cemetery they were located in and decided that it wouldnít take long to locate the marker, so made a stop after work one afternoon. I quickly decided that this cemetery was much larger than it appeared from the road and spent about 40 minutes cruising up and down the aisles in search of the location. I finally looked at my watch and decided that I would have to call it quits for the day and headed home.
I knew that I had been in the right cemetery, but where to find them. Finally, I decided to check out a local genealogy website that a friend has created. This website lists obit notices and shows photos of cemetery markers. The site is quite extensive and you can search by name and/or by cemetery location. I quickly located my friendís family and viewed the stone. By looking at the photo I was able to determine pretty much where to locate the stone and decided to go back in the evening. When I returned, I no longer had problems locating the spot and spent a few moments there, remembering old times shared. The stone was in a spot that I had passed over twice earlier that day and I canít figure out how I could have missed it!
I guess youíre wondering how my trip down memory lane relates to my quest for a healthier lifestyle Ė so here is what I discovered: Later that evening, while entering my walking minutes for the day, I decided to locate the cemetery on the Spark People mapping program and plot how many steps and miles I had walked. Guess what, during my afternoon search, I had walked 1.6 miles! Mind you I guess you could say stroll instead of walk, but movement and exercise it definitely was. So I guess from now on, when Iím doing a cemetery lookup, either for myself or someone else, I am going to track my exercise minutes. Its amazing where we can find moments of physical activity in our day!
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