The Pursuit of a Domestic Pursuit: A Guest Blog

Photo Source  HERE

Photo Source HERE

Hi, All!  I have a treat for you guys and cannot WAIT to share it!  I have a guest blogger today by the name of Katy Livingston, and let me just tell you - she has a GIFT, Ya'll!  She is a talented writer (visit her blog!), and a devoted mom and wife.  She is, in my opinion, a GREAT balancer, which is rare these days.  She may say otherwise, though, as we women tend to do.  But I'll let her tell you more: TAKE IT AWAY, KATY!

Hey all, I'm Katy, and I usually blog over here at http://livingaslivingstons.blogspot.com/.  A HUGE thanks to Sheila for inviting me to this corner of the interweb!  I have never “guest blogged” so to speak, so Sheila is taking a huge risk here. If you haven't met She, one of her biggest gifts is that people like me can't say “no” to her. I am filled with equal parts admiration and fear of her.  It's a beautiful thing. So full disclosure before we get started:

comfortzone

On being almost 30 Without Finding a Domestic Pursuit

If you know me, you know this: I have the best parents in the world. My life growing up was pretty much cake (even though the recent release of Jurassic World has freshly opened the wound from when the original Jurassic Park came out in theaters and my parents wouldn't let me see it because it was PG-13 and I was probably 8. It's 5 years, guys! No one even follows those rules!)

Despite the awesomeness of having folks who loved us and even seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with us, I recently discovered that I missed out on one key aspect of adulthood: a domestic hobby. My mother succeeded in all aspects except passing down a really cool skill that I can utilize now and bring with me into my golden years. I look around and see other ladies who have creative hobbies, and I feel left out.  While I am totally at peace with the whole Stay-at-Home Mom gig, I just haven't even found my thing.  I have friends who may use extra time alone to craft because it's “cathartic.” If I have some extra time to myself, I think, “I guess I could shave my legs or something...”

So far, my domestic hobbies are as follows:

 having babies

 making lists

 finding dessert recipes on Pinterest for my husband to bake

 blog stalking

 going to Kroger (I know this is weird. But seriously, grocery shopping is the best!)

Now, lest you think I have spent no time brainstorming other options:

  I considered learning to sew. I even made a sewing board on Pinterest, but as it turns out, I just like making boards, because it's the same as writing a list. My sweet friend tried to teach me how to thread the needle of a sewing machine, and I was just sitting there, sweating, trying to remember what she was saying.  Why are there 4 steps just to put thread in there?! There has to be a better way.  Add this to the fact that my Mother-in-law is literally a professional quilter, and I don't want to bother trying to live up to that level.

  Gardening: Maybe. This one is still a consideration. I can't see myself enjoying crawling around on the ground and getting dirt all over my hands, but I guess that shouldn't bother me since I spend most of my days in the cesspool that is kid germs.  Also, it's blazing hot outside.

  Knitting/Crocheting: I don't know the difference between the two. I love the idea of sitting in a rocking chair and having a little project in my lap. But the counting. The counting.  I can see myself losing count and ruining scarves that I won't ever have the opportunity to wear because of the blazing heat.

  Cooking: I generally prefer eating. Cooking is fine, but I don't love it. I also don't seem to have a knack for it.  Plus, I don't usually try any recipe with over 5 real ingredients, 5 steps, and like 4 dishes to clean.  I do love the Food Network, though.

  Photography: This is the last photo I've  taken:

Please do not copy this photo - all rights (reservedly) reserved through Katy Livingston

Please do not copy this photo - all rights (reservedly) reserved through Katy Livingston


#ExhibitA #nofilter

  Crossfit: because... I just can't, y'all. Also, I don't want to “Eat clean and train dirty.” I mostly just want to train a little bit dirty and not really eat clean at all. I don't need that kind of peer pressure in my life.

Here is where I have hit the dead end. But I would be lying if I said I didn't have one pursuit at all. I sort of do: reading.  As a kid, I used to read in the car on the 4-minute drive home from elementary school. In middle school, I used to read a lot of novels about people with terminal illnesses, and my mom was worried I would need therapy or something. I forgot how to read for fun during high school and college. My friends who worked at a bookstore would give me book recommendations that never failed to stir up something in me and bring me back to the joy of a new book. Then somewhere along the way, I let myself fall into the mom trap of surviving the day and falling onto the couch for some mind-numbing tv before bed every. single. day.

But guess what? I just joined a book club. And I just started reading a real book, and I love it. I feel like a new woman. And I'm going to try to not be too awkward when I meet some new ladies to eat snacks and chat about said book. And I won't feel badly that I don't have a thing right now that allows me to make someone a gourmet meal or sew cute baby gifts or have a beautifully landscaped yard or homegrown vegetables or a sick body. I'll just enjoy those few minutes I have been spending every night immersed in a beautiful, new world by the glow of my Kindle light while my husband drifts off to sleep next to me.

Because that's enough for me right now.

When Life Is Chronic, BE BIONIC

Photo Source: dreamstime

Photo Source: dreamstime

Some say it was from all the running and athletics I did when I was younger.  Some say it was from old injuries.  Legend even has it that it was the weight of my purse.  The Hubster says it was from the weight of all the jewels in my crown.  I like to think it was from so much prayer, but I'm guessing not.  Whatever the cause, I'm 44, and recently had to have both of my knees replaced.

My recovery has been, also according to legend, nothing short of amazing.  My surgeon, (Dr. Vishal Shah - GO SEE THIS GUY!), says I'm an animal!  

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Perhaps it was the blinged-out walker:

woopshe
These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Perhaps it was my physical therapist (Tyler Humphrey at First Colony Aquatics - go see HIM, too!):

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

All the prep from my chiro, Dr. Derek Maxson and my trainers, Cameron Garcia and Jan-Michael Jenkins at Legacy Fitness (ya GOTTA go see them!!) may have played a part......

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

legacyshe

Perhaps it was the UNBELIEVABLE support I had from The Hubster, the kiddos, the friends, family, and community (too many pics to place here, but you know EXACTLY who you are).

People keep ranting to me and asking me how I healed so quickly; some accused me of being just plain crazy.  (I'm fairly certain that is not a healing agent, but I could be wrong, as they are mostly right about the crazy part)  All I know is worry gives a small thing a big shadow.  We have been through so much together as a family; because of that, we have learned that faith and hope, and not giving something more stress than is due, is the main cocktail recipe for success.  I am grateful for my new knees in this New Year.  I'm bionic, now, after all!

I'm also back on my knees in prayer, and what I'm praying for is an opportunity to give something - even if it is some small thing - to those of you who read this blog.  (Thank you, by the way - I'm fairly certain you are a small family) What could that be, you ask??

JOY.

My hopes are for this blog to be refined and become bionic - much like my new knees. I want to work more in the community and want you to join me. So please keep a watch on the Servant's Corridor page, or even send me a way to add to it to be able to help someone you know.

Who surrounds you? Who do you surround yourself WITH? Is there constant negativity or bitterness trying to steal your joy? Are there circumstances that take away your desire to believe life is good, even when it isn't? REFUSE to give in to that. Life is too short, and you have a purpose here. And help those around you who need that same joy find it.  If you haven't started already, you have a living legacy to build, and one to leave behind.  

BE NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING. Find your joy - and keep it.  Be......BIONIC.

Vigilante Vortex

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/superheroes-batman-wonder-woman-534104/

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/superheroes-batman-wonder-woman-534104/

Do you have, or have you EVER had, someone in your life you view as your hero?  I have had a few in my lifetime.  Perhaps there will be more to come, but for now, I remember every single person in my life I've ever seen as my hero.  There are differentiating reasons, of course, and they run the gamut.

When I was in elementary school, I knew a girl that had a hard - and I mean HARD life.  She came to school with bruises, her clothes were not clean, and her shoes were falling apart.  She and I were good friends, though.  Perhaps because we were both bullied we had a kinship.  But I looked up to her.  She made good grades, never complained, and always worked hard.  When I found out about her home life and saw how hard she worked in school and never let those bullies get the best of her, she became a hero to me.  I looked up to her and often thought she might just grow up to BE a super hero!

Certain members of my family took very good care of me.  Whatever the reason, and whatever the time line, they took time from their own lives to try to do whatever it took to show me love when I was a very small child.  I didn't know it then, but they have since grown to be heroes of mine in my adult years as I look back.

Many people stand out to me.  But there is one instance in particular where a small group of people became my heroes all at once.

It started with the egging of our house in mid-October one year.  Eh.  Sometimes people make bad decisions in the name of fun, so we chalked it up to just that.  Until it escalated to rotten meat, terroristic phone calls in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning, and down-right torture on a daily basis.  And it lasted for MONTHS. Now who it was or why they did it doesn't matter - that's a story for another post (Or maybe it isn't.  I don't want to give those crooks any more spotlight than they deserve!)  End result: they were caught.  Now they obviously aren't heroes of any kind.  It's the people that helped us through that traumatic time in our lives.

All we did was share what was happening with friends; and those friends, Hugh Durlam, Jan-Michael Jenkins, and Derek Rogers showed up to our house, and along with our son, Cameron, our son-in-law, Sam, and The Hubster....FOR THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW ALL NIGHT LONG......sat outside our home crouched in the shadows, waiting and watching - to help capture the criminals.  And they weren't the only ones!  The "un-sung heroes" as I've heard it put lately - the WIVES of these men (Diana, Amber, Lauren, and Chelsea) - never complained or said no to their daredevil husbands playing the part of the Justice League.

Of course, Adrian and I did all we could to make it fun - I baked throughout the night in a dark house and made sure everyone had cookies and milk (true super-hero food!) as they lie in wait.  We had walkie-talkies.  We prayed. We laughed.  And we cried.

When the authorities caught them (ultimately due to our vigilante nights and uncovered evidence!) we decided to throw a (costume) party in honor of our hero-friends.  (Of course we did!)  We gathered all those that helped.....all those heroes......and we told them to dress as their own favorite hero and come be honored at the party we dubbed 'Vigilante Vortex'.  It was one of the best nights of celebration I've ever had.  There was Hulk Hogan, Zombie Apocalypse Killers, Batman, Rocky, even The Lone Ranger...the list goes on!  (Photos below)  We played.  We laughed.  And we cried.  It was nothing short of amazing to The Hubster and me, and filled us with awe and wonder, how these people were so willing to sacrifice and give of themselves simply because they love us.  

That is definitely the definition of a hero in my book: one that gives sacrificially.

Think about all the heroes in the world.  Maybe you don't know them personally, or perhaps you do.  Maybe you think immediately of the soldiers who sacrifice every day.  Maybe it's your mom or your dad who sacrificed so much to raise you.  Maybe you think of your spouse that had to sacrifice in some way to show their love and admiration for you.  Maybe it's a teacher that sacrificed and invested time in you to help set you up for success.  Maybe it's a Martin Luther King, Jr., or a Rosa Parks, or even an Abe Lincoln.  Or maybe it's just someone who loves you so much they have shown that love selflessly and sacrificially.

Remember who YOU are to people.  Be intentional and sacrificial.  Be loving and selfless.  BE SOMEONE'S HERO.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Two Weeks to Live

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/calendar-date-time-month-week-660670/

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/calendar-date-time-month-week-660670/

Very recently, a dear friend of mine named Seth found out he had cancer.  Not just cancer, but CANCER.  Very advanced Medullary Thyroid cancer that had spread to his neck, throat, and spine.  He was told he would have to undergo a surgery that would take approximately 12 hours, with no guarantee of life on the turn-out.  Literally, NONE.  He is young, with two teenage boys and a beautiful wife, Charity, and they all love him VERY much. One day on social media with only a couple of weeks to go before the surgery was to take place, I saw Charity had posted something that will stay with me for the rest of my life here on this earth, and I'd like to share it with you:

"If you thought you only had two weeks to live what would you do?  Go on that great vacation somewhere, quit your job, spend all the money you had, give your money to someone in need, ask someone for forgiveness, tell someone you forgive them, buy that amazing car, go on a mission trip, skydive, scuba dive, work, spend every moment you can with the ones you love soaking up every detail about them; the way they smile, laugh, cry, or look?  Would you want to breathe every moment of them in and never forget it???

That is a question most of us may never have to answer but for Seth, that is a question, in reality, he is facing (the surgery is very serious with life-or-death outcome).  I have caught My Love looking at me longer, holding me closer, touching me every time he passes or is near.  When he hugs the boys or I he will breathe in very deeply and sigh.  The other day as he was looking at me, I saw him out of the corner of my eye and I asked him,"Are you ok?"  He asked the million dollar question: "If you thought you only had two weeks to live, what would you do?"  I sighed and said, "This right here, I wouldn't change a thing!"  He replied, "Me, too!"  So for a week now we pray more together as a family, we hug more, we tell each other how proud we are of each other and that God brought us all together, we listen more intently to others, absorbing every moment.  None of us are guaranteed another day on this earth, funny that something like cancer can magnify everything!  He uses everything for His glory, everything.  Satan doesn't even get sickness!!!  God always knows what He is doing!
"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which can never be shaken, never be moved. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people now and forever." Psalms 125:1-2
Even when bad things of this world come into our lives or try to have an effect on us, it CANNOT overshadow us!! We are all strong in the Lord!  His mountains surround and protect us from storms so that we can rest!
So what would YOU do? I know what I'd do......nothing but be present at this moment, absorbing and breathing in all the Lord's glory of THIS day!"

WOW, right????  I'd like to think that if I was in Seth's or Charity's position, I'd react the same way, but who really knows?!?  I DO know, however, that what holds true is that we should live in the moment, always remembering that we are not promised tomorrow, or to grow old and gray; to remember that sickness and death are allowed in order to bring faith.  Does it always bring that faith?  Of course not, sadly.  But through others that are much like Seth, it at least brings awareness to how small we are and how much control we DON'T have.  The faith - and even joy - comes when you realize that very fact.

So what would YOU do if you knew you only had two weeks to live?  Turns out, Seth made it through the surgery with flying colors, cancer-free and a better man for it.  But through his tragedy-to-triumph story, it helped grow my faith even stronger, and made me want to build a better legacy - the one I'm living and the one for those I leave behind.

Not one of us are immune - so live this life you're given to the fullest, and absorb every.  single.  moment.

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~Dolly Parton

"He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." ~Matthew 5:45

"The tiniest seed knows that in order to grow, it needs to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light." ~Anonymous

Please do not copy this photo - all rights reserved through the Mohorn Family

Please do not copy this photo - all rights reserved through the Mohorn Family

(Oil) Pull My Finger

Photo Source: Fat Girl Kitchen via educatedhomemaker.com

Photo Source: Fat Girl Kitchen via educatedhomemaker.com

In this great and intricate world, it never ceases to amaze me how things work down to every single detail.  

Recently, there has been a bandwagon that a lot of people are jumping on for oil pulling.  Oil pulling is when you take organic oil - typically coconut for its anti-microbial properties - and swish it around in your mouth for between five-to-twenty minutes and it magically cleans your mouth, heals gum disease, detoxes your body, and whitens your teeth.  Oil.  In your mouth.  OIL......AND IT WORKS.  We were oil pulling in my household before oil pulling was cool.  (IS it cool?)  It cured - yes, CURED - two cavities I had.  Truly a healthy pull.

I've discovered there are a LOT of things that have the 'pull' factor.  Let's take thyme, for example.  (Ain't nobody got THYME fo' dat!) Yes, the herb.  Most people take it from the bottom and pull it from there to get that fragrant lemony and woodsy flavor into their food.  That's already a good pull factor.  Did you know if you hold it from the top and pull, the part of the stick that you can still use and cook will automatically come off?  So this is a win-win pull!

What about pork?  We don't eat a lot of it in my home, so when we do, it's a real treat.  And pork (especially BACON!) is just GOOD.  So what could possibly make pork taste even more delicious?  PULLED pork, of course!  That's a porky pull!

One of my favorite pulls?  Wine cork from the bottle.  Funny how that works.  Now, there has been a time or two when I have had to push that sucker INTO the bottle, but it sure isn't as good.  I had to struggle to get the wine to pour because the cork kept getting in the way, not to mention the tiny bits and pieces of cork I kept sipping into my mouth.  Bleh.  But when pulled, it makes a slight pop-sound (music to my ears), and the aroma of the wine can even be breathed in from the cork itself.  Pure delight of a pull!

Another one of life's great pulls is to pull someone's leg......but only when it's all in good fun and you keep your hands to yourself.  Yankin' yer chain pull.  

If you're among the lucky ones, you can pull strings.  Pulling strings has been done since the dawn of time, and can most definitely be a help in times of need.  This pull means you've actually got "pull"!

But above all pulls, I love and appreciate the finger pull.  I happen to have two boys, a son-in-law, AND The Hubster.  (And not only boys do the finger pull.  The Daughts has been known to make this request a time or two in her younger years!)  I've been asked to pull more fingers than I can shake a stick at.  But whether I ever follow through on the request or not, it's the funny kind of pull that brings a smile to my face, regardless of the end, uh - RESULT.  And that smile is a good thing!  Especially if you participate in the oil pulling - those smiling teeth are bright and shiny!

What kind of pull keeps your mind, body, and spirit in balance in your life?  Whether it’s the kind of pull that helps keep your body healthy, or one that brings a smile to your face for emotional well-being, or perhaps a spiritual pull that you can't (or shouldn't) ignore, life is chocked full of the kind of intricate pulls that won't be pushed around.

The Perfect Blend

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rgarciasuarez74/4012174390/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rgarciasuarez74/4012174390/

When I met Adrian, it was clear we had similar "baggage". We both came from a not-so-amicable divorce, we both had children from that previous marriage, and we both were never going to get married again. (Ya see how that worked out, don't ya?)

These days, we live in a society of blended families. It's the norm, really. People never used to be as surprised to hear an older, married couple say they were celebrating their 25th, 40th, or 50th wedding anniversary. Nowadays, it's astonishing just to hear if someone hasn't been divorced at least once. And yep - I'm part of that society.

After we started seeing each other on a serious level (sounds so mature, doesn't it?), we knew that we weren't just seeing each other, but also each other's children. Then, when we got married, we knew we weren't just marrying each other, but becoming part of the parental units the children would share. I am a person of faith, and I can tell you that the moment I accepted Adrian's proposal, I prayed he would be an example of a man that would buy the truth and not sell it; gain wisdom, instruction, and understanding, and then deliver it to our children. I prayed with all my might he would put aside all judgment and generously share with the children his unconditional love he had for me, and that he would have a "Joseph-spirit", (Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, who, in my opinion was the greatest step-father who ever lived).

I prayed he would be the perfect father, and that together we would be the perfect parents.

Um, NO.

Though at the present time I am the richest woman in the world, it has not come without its trials, pitfalls, difficulties, and snags. The process has been less-than-perfect. There have been disagreements, arguments, knock-down-drag-outs, and moments we are less-than-proud of. We have seen illness, death, valleys, and psychiatrists. We have had seasons where we gained friends and family, but also lost friends and family. We have shared in drama, defeat, lost savings; had powerful, emotional lows, and scraped the bottom of life's barrel. And we did it all together.

Don't get me wrong, we have all - Adrian, me, AND the kids - worked at it with all our hearts, and the price of the success we share as a family unit came through that hard work and dedication. Because with all of those things, we have also seen grace, mercy, compassion, and triumph over illness. We have been taught endurance, grown in faith, strength, and perseverance, and learned to trust. We have celebrated the peaks, marriages, each other, life, and love. And we did it all together.

We have a beautiful family, and we are protective of that. We live a charmed life, always enjoying the things that most people don't see right in front of them, and we are joyful and thankful for that. But if it was all taken away from us tomorrow, we would remember that life is a big canvas and we threw all the paint on it we could; we would remember that we made the decision to be a family and commit ourselves to making it a success; we would remember that without the valleys there would be no peaks. We would remember that we were given the gift of being like a unique wine - the gift of being intricately perfected and blended.

Go Bananas!

Photo Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_hat#/media/File:Carmen_Miranda_in_The_Gang%27s_All_Here_trailer_cropped.jpg

Photo Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_hat#/media/File:Carmen_Miranda_in_The_Gang%27s_All_Here_trailer_cropped.jpg

I know this is going to come as a shock to anyone reading this so brace yourself: Most people think I'm crazy.  I know, I know - SHOCKING!  Now I don't think that means incapacitated-crazy, or lobotomy-crazy (well, perhaps), but extremely eccentric-crazy, or largely unconventional...and they are right!  Oddly enough, I am very old-fashioned and nostalgic to antiques and history and the things that give them (and me!) character as well.  I know those two things don't always connect, but it's what makes me, me.

With my history comes the fact that I did not grow up affluent; in fact, we were raised to accept and appreciate hand-me-down clothing, sharing a room, and liver and onions for dinner because it was cheap.  My favorite lunch when my parents were out working was to smear ketchup on a piece of bread.  To me, that was a rare delicacy, and even if I was hungry, I would painstakingly chew every bite until it melted in my mouth because it tasted so good.  I suppose I was a foodie before my time!

That history makes up who I am today.  Though I am quite certain my palette is much more refined (organic ketchup on rice bread?), I still have a little panic button if I see that the "staples" of the pantry are dwindling.  I am one of the most frugal people I know.  It is part gift, part skill.  I can shop for all the healthy food that will restock my pantry without paying a mortgage to do so.  And I do.  I also don't like to waste.  Not anything. So I will freeze just about everything; leftovers, bread, tortillas... I don't know if that is the frugal side of me or the unconventional side of me, but either way, it has saved us from a pinch a time or two!

So!  Where is this frugal / unconventional She history lesson headed, you ask?

BANANAS.  Yep.  Bananas.  Not like me-being-crazy bananas, but real, wholesome, packed-full-of-potassium bananas.  Most people love them.  I do.  The downfall of bananas is that they go black QUICK.  Now, that doesn't mean they're bad to eat, necessarily, depending on how mushy or firm you like your banana, but it does mean fruit flies or gnats, or sticky counters or bowls.   Every grocery trip, I buy organic as-green-as-I-can-get-em bananas.  But rest-assured, they turn yellow and then black before we can eat them all.  What to do with the bananas so that the history in me doesn't let them go to waste?

At the risk of sounding like Bubba Gump, there are LOTS of things you can do with bananas!  Banana bread, banana cookies, banana pancakes, banana smoothies.  But the question is: do we want that every day of our lives just to keep the bananas from going South?  Of course not!  The solution?  FREEZE THEM.  That's right.   "She must be crazy" you're saying to yourself.  Well, I established that early on in the post so you can't say I didn't warn you.

I put my bananas in the freezer to keep.  They turn black almost immediately, but trust me, they are still usable for a very long period of time.  I devote the entire top shelf of my freezer to leftover bananas.  They don't go to waste and they are there for healthy, delicious snacks or recipes.  I posted a couple of my favorite below, so if you're a banana-lover, feel free to indulge.  I even included one strictly for serendipitous purposes and the nostalgic sake of the story above - banana ketchup!!

Our past makes us who we are for our future.  My living legacy is as important to me as the one I leave behind; that not only means my faith or how I treat people, but the little things in life that make me rich...REALLY rich.  I don't have to have a lot of money to tell you I'm one of the richest people I know - even if I AM bananas!

THREE-INGREDIENT HEALTHY BANANA COOKIES (quick, easy, healthy and DELICIOUS!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup of uncooked Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix the mashed bananas and oats in a bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, scoop up the batter and place on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

ROASTED BANANAS WITH BROWN SUGAR WALNUT GLAZE (Good for a side dish or a dessert!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice $
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large firm ripe bananas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.
  • Cut bananas in half lengthwise. Place banana halves, cut sides up, on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 4 minutes. Drizzle sugar mixture evenly over banana halves, and sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Bake an additional 3 minutes. Cut each banana piece into thirds crosswise. Serve bananas with frozen yogurt; drizzle with any remaining sugar mixture.

BANANA KETCHUP (I love to baste my chicken with this stuff before grilling!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño from (about 1 small jalapeño)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Water, as needed

Directions:

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened. Add garlic, jalapeno, ginger, turmeric, and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in bananas, vinegar, honey, rum, tomato paste, soy sauce, and salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Transfer ketchup to a food processor or blender (processor is better if you have one) and process until smooth. Thin out with water as needed to reach a ketchup-like consistency. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Step on a Crack

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/3425397343/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/3425397343/

We've all heard the expression, right?  “Step on a crack”…you can finish it; I know you can…”break your mother’s back!!”

Though I think that is quite insensitive to the mothers of the world, when it comes to me, if I step on a crack, I usually break SOMETHING.  I have had more broken bones, torn ligaments, fractured whatevers, cracked something-or-others, and ‘itises” of the whatchamacallits than anyone I know.  True story.

It is very difficult to have an opinion these days, especially if you’re me.  I am a bit of a nut-bucket (no secret), and for that reason, people sometimes find it hard to take me seriously.  For instance, when I am touting all the good reasons to be a clean and healthy eater, most people – not all, but most – guffaw at organics or the thought of taking processed foods out of their diets.  (Nice usage of ‘guffaw’, right??)

But I’m here to tell you I have PROOF of what I am posting about today…so keep yer guffaws to yerselves.   (Totally went Cowboy Camp Speak on ya there; sorry)

This guy – we’ll call him Dr. Derek Maxson, since that’s his name – is a chiropractor from another PLANET.  First day, I walked (limped) into his office and I say, “I've got this knee thing.”  By the time I walked out – I WALKED OUT.  No limp! 

Next, I walk in and say, “So I've been running now!  Thanks for fixing my knee!  But I've run myself into a bunion.”  Low-and-behold, bunion gone within minutes.  Another time: “Cough, cough!!”  (That’s me coughing)  I hand him a hand-written note saying I have zero voice, sore throat, ear ache, AND I have to sing the very next morning.  BOOM.  Voice back by the next day after one of those “adjustments”.   AND he adjusted my EAR to fix it.  MY EAR, PEOPLE.

But recently, a diverticulitis and gall bladder attack set me back.  (It’s an epidemic these days, but I've been dealing with this since I was a kid) I mean it was such terrible pain.  I walked in with swelling that made me look five-months pregnant and pain shooting through me all up in my down-below.  (And this is AFTER an emergency-room visit did NOT help me) I did what he asked (some crazy contraption and a different kind of adjustment) and I walked out of there moments – literally MOMENTS – later with no swelling and relief from the pain enough to tend to it from home properly.

Last but certainly not least, I recently had a sweet friend yawn and dislocate his jaw.  Don’t laugh; it COULD happen to you!   It was not only painful, it was scary.  And it was late at night.  But Dr. Derek Maxson (I’m starting to sound like a commercial for him at this point) got up, met my friend at his clinic, and gently and patiently adjusted and healed his jaw. 

I know – not only do I sound like I’m selling you on a pyramid scheme of some sort or trying to get you to buy a time-share, but I’m also making him sound like some sort of weird superhero.  Well Folks, that’s because HE IS.  (Minus the pyramid scheme/time share part!) 

Me telling you all about my chiropractor may sound like quite the little thing in the grand scheme of life.  But I think we MUST enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  Thank you for helping to keep me well, Derek.  My health is a big thing.  That’s just my opinion.

Trust and adjust!!

Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/perpetualplum/3995213761

Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/perpetualplum/3995213761