Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yeast in the morning, Sailor take warning!

So...I'm adding yeast to one of the things that irritates my stomach. It's actually a common enough allergen or irritant. Just look up Candida in any search engine to learn more about it. Basically for me, after I eat yeast breads, I feel as if it is still rising right inside my tummy! I have to go lie down for all the discomfort that ensues, although there are drops that I could take three times a day to combat it if I wanted to keep tossing it down my gullet.

However, to save around $30.00 a month and the hassle of having to remember to take them, I'll simply cut WAY down. (Actually, I already have...that's why I can tell that it's the yeast that is effecting me when I do eat it.)

There are a bevy of 'Quick Breads' that I could make to have my bready-cravings met, such as scones, tortillas, some flat breads without yeast, biscuits, even unsweetened crepes, so I'm really not out any indulgence, but for every day, no-hassle and lower-fat fare...

I'm now having fun trying out different kinds of crackers! I picked these up at the market a few days ago and I really like them. You have to look at the labels, as some crackers, even in this same line, have a bunch of preservatives and/or sugar, which are taboo in my book.

Using crackers as a substitute is actually quite nice! You get to play around with adding your favorite tidbits to them and trying out new and unique foods that you might not have tried before. There are lots of recipes on-line and in my cookbooks to give me ideas if I get bored. could I get bored?! Having 'appetizers' all the time instead of just at the occasional party makes me feel pretty 'Ritzy'. Hee-hee!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Do we need to keep up with the Jones's?

I don't have a strong desire to have things like expensive jewelry, over-sized homes, high-end cars, etc. until I see others possessing it or putting a lot of stock into it. I will see things in the stores or catalogs and think they are cool and all, but until I see someone personally enjoying something they have, it doesn't really bring out the envy or jealousy in me. Because I recognize this pattern, I know how to temper my feelings about it. I can bring myself back down to earth and be happy that I haven't let that kind of behavior get the best of me. It is a base instinct and I'm glad that I am not a slave to it.

Does anyone really need marble counter-tops?

The whole planned obsolescence model set before us in society leads me to think that there's something wrong with my laminated kitchen counter-tops. Sure, the color doesn't exactly fit my current decor as I would like for it to, but they're in perfect condition, structurally. The trend setters want me to feel like I'm missing out on something if I don't rip out my counter-tops and replace them with marble or granite. They would really go after my ten-year-old, though already 'outdated', cultured marble bathroom vanity, (which is not actually made of marble, by the way) to be certain.

Will we give charity to an entity who just wants more, or those who honestly don't have enough?

Unless you find an organization who's donations are not stripped down to pennies on the dollar after cutting everyone's salary checks and paying the bills, can't you just find a family in dire straights to bless, or some fixed-income retiree who has to choose between buying their medications or buying healthy food? I have been to some churches who don't even give to individual families anymore. They refer people to a clothing closet or food bank if they need help. The church board decides which outside charities to give to, but only after paying for all the salaries, utilities, real estate developement and improvements. It's hard to know which charities are really helping the needy more than they are themselves. But, then I think, what would it be like if we had no charities at all? Would those in need know where to go for help? Or, how would the belevolent ones know that they were giving to a truly needy family? I know that some of the 'needy' are needy because they aren't necessarily spending their money wisely throughout the month. I know people who aren't as needy as they think. I have seen people manage to get approved for food stamps when they drive two new vehicles and already have a vacation at Disney World planned within the same month. So, I suppose entities may be necessary to weed out those undeserving of our charity. I imagine with the way I would try to run a charitable organization, it might not last very long, so I'll just try my best to find the one run with the most prudence, the most heart and the most transparency when it comes to donating my money.

Will we or our children feel pressured to get wealth by ill-gotten gains, or by any means other than hard work?

I's pounded into our brains: "Work smarter, not harder!" We read books on how to not pay our taxes or find ways to beat the system and get something for nothing. I would ask, is it worth it if you to have to...grease palms, make questionable business deals, keep quiet when you know someone else is stealing, live in fear that you'll lose your job if you do this or don't do that unethical thing, risk losing your family, show a poor example to others, teach your children that cheating is the way to make it in this world, gamble away your and your family's future, take food out of other people's mouths to get ahead, run from the law, run from the other side of the law, put your family in danger, etc.?

Or, can you just walk away from it, no matter how much you think it's going to be worth to you in money or position, before it's too late?

Should we use our influence and magnetism to benefit only ourselves?

People with strong personalities can usually find a way to get what they want. I am a strong personality, who happens to want to be used more to bless others than be blessed myself. In fact, I do get blessed by seeing others' needs met. Because I don't require much to exist myself, I can happily pass along tangible things to others needing my help without really thinking about what's in it for me. This is only because I recognize my influence as something to be used for good. I can see the other side of the fence, where manipulation and greed rule over the over-confident fool's actions. These people are really quite hard to resist, because of their magnetism and charm. I recognize that they see people as a means to a desired end, and as things to be conquered until they've gotten what they want out of you, be it money, position, sex, approval or praise, loyalty, etc. If you find that you have influence over people, I hope that you can see the supreme responsibility of your actions. Be honest with yourself about how you are willing to treat others to reach your goals. If you operate through coercion and fear, you're missing out on what it takes to be genuinely respected. If you are manipulating people through flattery or charm, it's just a matter of time before they figure you out and become disenchanted. If you use your influence to see others reach their goals, rather than taking from them, and work hard at an honest profession to reach yours, then you are using your influence in the best possible way. If you do that, you will gain and keep the respect of others, know the self-respect that comes of an honest living, have money enough for your and your family, and leave a legacy of influence.

Just some stuff to think about!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mommy Update

Well...look who's feeling better after her surgery! We really had a good time together today when I went to visit her.
Her hair is growing back fine and soft. It just makes you want to rub it. It will probably fall out again as she heads into her next, and hopefully last, round of chemo. After that, we'll see if the cancer goes into remission or not. Praying for that day, let me tell you!

Click on the photos for larger views.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Consuming Christian Consumers

We can laugh at ourselves, can't we? :-)

Consuming Christian Consumers

Congratulations! You've just been converted?
Let me tell you what you need to do.
Come with me to the church book store,
And we'll really show the world the new you!

You want folks to see that you've changed for the better,
And that now you have more of God's love.
But it's easier to tell that you're a believer
If you'll wear these 'Jesus fish' gloves.

So go grab that shirt that reads "Rockin' for Jesus"
And the key chain with the sinner's prayer.
You really need the mug with the Ten Commandments
And the "Hallelujah!" brush set for your hair.

Now, I see that you carry a paper-back bible,
But, you need one of these covers for style.
Better yet, if you want to look like a serious Christian,
Let's head to the leather-bound isle!

You'll want this translation, and that one, for sure.
And here's one that our old pastor used.
And this section of concordances, lexicons and helps,
Will keep you from getting confused.

Then, for your PC or mobile devices,
To save the books you buy from rip or tear,
We have all these and more in our vast collection
Of bibles and helps on software.

Now, the Bible is a good place to start,
But in order to be really well-read,
You should get lots of how-to books by various authors,
From soul-winning to raising the dead.

And now, for your music and movies of old,
You must, at once, toss them all out!
But there is good news, for just over there,
Is our multi-media "Glory Spout".

There's even a listening station, my friend,
With the latest in audio pleasure,
Everyone who thanks God on the sleeve of their cover,
Has made their way into this treasure.

To be certain, every movie, sound byte or book,
Knick-knack and toy in this room,
Is God-approved, holy, prudent and right,
For us Christian-consumers to consume.

If you don't believe me, ask the wholesaler,
For he told me so.
I just thank God we found this supplier,
From whom such blessings flow.