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Simple Thanksgiving

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life Thanksgiving is probably the most favorite holiday of the year. More people travel at Thanksgiving than any other time of year. We all have so
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2003
      The Simple Life

      Thanksgiving is probably the most favorite holiday of the year.
      More people travel at Thanksgiving than any other time of year. We
      all have so much to be thankful for.

      With 2 pies baking in the oven, their spicy aromas filling the
      house, and family get-togethers planned for the week I had many
      reasons to be thankful – warm house in the country, food in the
      pantry – too many blessings to name. No matter how many blessings I
      put on my list, I still came up with a feeling of melancholy. Many
      of us have reasons to be sad during a holiday. Maybe we've lost a
      spouse or a good friend. Maybe our children have just left the nest
      and we are feeling a bit sad in our quiet homes. We might have had
      hopes that were dashed, or a big disappointment. Maybe we've been
      laid off or retired from a career we loved and are not sure what the
      future holds, or we have tough decisions to make. Maybe we have
      faced illness such as cancer or someone close to us is. What ever it
      is, it is a grief of some sort. None of us are immune to our
      feelings. We smile and put on a happy face, but only those closest
      to us know we have a dull ache on the inside.
      I wouldn't be the first to tell you to count your blessings –
      heck I tried telling myself that. But when that certain funk hits,
      there is nothing to do but face it. A wise friend once told me that
      to try to ignore our funky feelings only makes them worse. I think –
      no I know – she was right. The hard part is trying to figure out
      why we feel what we are feeling. Sometimes we have several things
      that hit us at once. It's hard to pin down why we feel like we do.
      We have so much to be thankful for, yet we deny ourselves the right
      to our own feelings.
      I can't tell you when you will start feeling better, but I do
      know that when we decide that we feel bad, and get it over with,
      then we can begin the process of healing.
      Sunsets are special to me and the other day, driving home from
      some errands, there was the most awesome sunset. The sky was all
      shades of lavender, and then went to shades of pink and orange. For
      a few minutes the whole sky from East to West was brilliant pink-
      orange. I had no doubt at that moment that God was telling me that
      there was a light at the end of the tunnel. There always is, we
      just have to look for it.
      PS, God speaks to everyone in different ways, for Noah it was
      rainbows, but for me – it's sunsets!
      * * *
      Life is short and it's up to you to make it sweet. ~~ Sarah Louise

      To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on
      creating oneself endlessly. ~~Henri Louis Bergson

      * * *
      Cheaper Kitty Litter

      Here is a great money saving tip for cat lovers. I don't have an
      indoor cat, but I will pass this tip along.
      Try using pulverized corn as kitty litter! It is inexpensive,($3 to
      $4 per 50 lb. Bag) extremely clean, and clumps nicely for easy
      removal. Also breaks down easily. Add baking soda for odor control
      and you can add a few drops of scented oil to make it even sweeter!

      The Path Under My Feet
      ~Bob Perks~

      The road ahead is twisted and curved.
      I cannot see around the corners.
      But I can see the path here under my feet.
      It is here that I can make a difference.
      It is now that I can touch the lives of those I meet in such a way
      ...that nothing but kind words can be spoken of me.
      * * *
      If you need some yummy cookie bars for a family party – look no
      further. These easy bars won't last long and make sure to take the
      recipe with you – everyone will ask for it. My mom has made these
      for years and they are still a favorite.

      ~~ DREAM BARS ~~
      Mix and bake for 15 minutes:
      1 c butter or margerine
      4 T. powdered sugar
      2 c flour

      Mix, then pour over crust:

      4 eggs
      2 1/2 c brown sugar
      4 T flour
      1/2 t salt
      1 T Baking Powder
      1 c. nuts
      2 c coconut
      Bake 18-20 minutes longer. Cut into bars.

      * * *
      A way to Say "I love you" during the holidays.

      A friend was in the kitchen doing the dishes. Her husband was in
      the living room watching the news after dinner. He turned off
      the "telly" and went in the kitchen to dry dishes for her. She told
      him later that she really appreciated how he said "I love you" by
      drying the dishes. He said "How did I say that?"
      She answered, "You left your world and entered mine when you came
      left your comfort zone and that told me you love me more than words."
      He had no idea it meant that much to her. Now he does!

      Keep it simple,

      If you would like your own subscription to "The Simple LIfe", go to

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thesimple_life/ and sign up! It's
      one of the few things that are still free - like a glass of water at
      Wall Drugs in South Dakota!
    • Sheryl
      The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons ~The location of paradise has far more to do with the person than the place.~ Our family is putting a jar with a
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 22, 2005
        The Simple Life>>By Sheryl Simons >>~The location of paradise has far more to do with the person than the place.~ >> Our family is putting a jar with a bright holiday ribbon on the desk with some pieces of paper and some bright-colored ink pens. As we go through the day, we may each take a turn to sit in the quiet corner and scribble a few things we are thankful for. After dinner, while the turkey and pumpkin pie settles, we get a chance to read them. They might be general, anonymous, or specific. We will pass around the jar and get all mushy and weepy and take turns reading them together. (Where's the tissue?) However, there is probably not enough room in 10 jars for all my thanks, so I thought I'd cheat and get a head start. It must be the older I get the more thankful I get – You too? But I can't help taking a quick glance around our Thanksgiving table as we join hands to give thanks. There are, as always, lots of excuses not to be thankful, but I guess I just can't help it. My grandfather is now 101 and doing well. There's 101 reasons right there, not to mention all my aunts, uncles, cousins, that can claim him for an ancestor. Thinking of my grandfather makes me think of all the holidays for years and years and the traditions that just keep being passed on. We have different memories, but what can I say but thanks - thanks for the memories. There's my parents who, though close to it, weren't perfect – but not for lack of trying - and gladly passed that heritage on to my brothers and me. They have taught me that growing older just means getting better. Of course, I'm glad I wasn't born into a perfect family or I wouldn't come close to fitting in. We can all have our difficult moments when we act childish and selfish, or just plain silly, but at least we have all learned one important thing. When it all comes down to it, we are there for each other through thick and through thin. If I was in a dark alley I'd want either of my brothers watching my back. I guess we are no different than any other family. My husband Richard has taught me more about love, unselfishness, and patience than any person I know – he's needed it! But fortunately he saw some redeeming quality in me and hasn't given up on me yet. Our kids (our family just keeps growing!) Being 20 something (on the inside), I still can't understand how I could be a mother let alone a grandmother, but I am. As anyone in a family will admit – that's most of us! – there are hard times and fantastic times and they all teach us something about ourselves and each other. How especially thankful I am to be grandma to Tony, J T, Teanna, and little Aubriannah. Only grandkids and puppies run and give you a hug like they can. How sweet it is. If grandkids are any clue to what heaven is like, I'm already there. How I love them all! We'll say a special prayer for son Andrew in Iraq and his wife Eve who misses him very much. Hurry home safely, son. We love you. Our Lord. He's the one really responsible for everything good gift in our lives. Like someone said, God didn't create evil, we thought that up all on our own. God doesn't do things to hurt us, he wants what's best for us like any good parent, he just wants us to hop on board. Perfect. Flowers. I know I won't be seeing many until spring, but I can't wait for spring to welcome all my flowers back to life. Friends. As colorful as my garden, our friends are the colors of the rainbow on a gray day. To have friends you know you can count on is worth more than gold.* * *To make a Simple Thanksgiving >>Don't put out a bunch of munchies before dinner. No one will have an appetite! Do your appetizers after dinner for munching on, or save them for the evening hours. If you do, put it away a couple hours before dinner. Have a veggie tray with dinner. Anyone can make healthy choices while eating the "good stuff" too. Go Pot Luck if possible, unless you have someone who just loves to "do it all" (I've heard there are some!) I'd rather do a really good job making a couple things like rolls and pies, than try to get it all right at the same time. Don't make a dish you've never tried before (practice makes perfect!). Keep them simple. But do try to make them as healthy as possible. Yes you can use low fat milk to make the mashed potatoes. Use canola oil instead of butter, when possible. Offer lite desserts as well as the old fashioned favorites. No one will notice you used low fat cream cheese for the dip. Also, your table doesn't have to look like an elaborate and huge salad bar with 50 items. Just a simple menu is plenty. It's the time together that counts. If you have a large group, everyone gets to be on either the get it ready crew, or the clean up crew. One or the other. Even the kids can help clear the table. Anybody can load a dishwasher, or set a table. If they don't know how by now, it's time they learned. Or, maybe all the guys will offer to do the dishes if the girls cook, or vice versa! Great Grandma – go put your feet up!Plan some activities for the downtimes. The older kids can help the younger kids play some games or activities. Have a slide show, or play charades or Trivial Pursuit or board games. Today is no day for a long nap! Have some nice music playing in the background.Bake ahead. If you can make the cookies or casseroles ahead – do it! Put it in the freezer, or fridge if it's the day ahead. Freeze extra cookies in containers for whenever company drops in. Bake ahead together! Get together before the holiday to do some baking together. Put that veggie tray together the day before. Mix up the dips and dressing a day ahead. Anything that can be done ahead will make the `big day' go that much smoother. Freeze a punch ring, or even make up the punch ahead. Make a list of every detail and check anything that can be done ahead. If you don't have to have fine china, use good quality throw away plates. Keep the pots and pans washed and put away, ahead of time or as soon as possible.* * * Simple Dips: Mix softened lowfat cream cheese with ham and onion or pineapple for a great cracker dip. A ¼ cup mayo or salad dressing will soften it up a bit. For a seafood dip mix ¼ to ½ cup mayo or salad dressing with 8 oz. cream cheese. Cover generously with cocktail sauce and tiny shrimp or crab meat. For a fruit dip, use plain whipped topping, or mix marshmallow cream with lowfat cream cheese. >>* * *"Forget about style; worry about results." ~~ Bobby Orr>>"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment." ~~Samuel Taylor Coleridge >> >>Keeping it Simple,Sheryl >> >> >>

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