Dallas Women’s Conference…..Tellin’ it Like it T’iz

I just returned from Dallas, Texas where I attended the “Color Your Mind” Women’s Conference at New Beginnings.  I wish all of you could have been with me.  Once again Pastor Tiz really nailed it.  I always come away from her presentations feeling renewed and re-energized.  This year she invited an equally amazing woman to minister with her at the conference.  Shaneen Clarke resides in London, England and is a noted author, speaker and evangelist.

These are some of the sound bites from these two mighty women of God that stood out to me in the conference:

  1. Every new level of growth requires a new level of thinking
  2. Nurturing revenge, anger and bitterness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick
  3. How you think is how you talk.  Change the way you speak and your emotions will follow.
  4. Miracles happen when preparation meets opportunity. Proper preparation results in better performance.
  5. Marinate yourself in the Word of God.
  6. Christ is a mind dweller
  7. In business, do not join partners with the wrong person.  Who you share your purse with affects your business.
  8. Satan thinks strategically so we need to have a strategy to defeat him.  Use the weapons of God:  His blood, Word and Name

Here is a pictorial of the conference.  I think you might recognize some of the women in the photos.

Pastor Nancy oversaw all the details of the conference this year.

The stage was set and preparations completed for Pastor Tiz'a arrival.

Women came from all over the country representing 14 states. This lady who is visiting with Pastor Tiz, Pastor Nancy and Ms Margaret drove all the way from Detroit, Michigan to attend the conference.

Here I am with our beautiful adopted daughter Jen. And no my tooth isn't missing...that's a funny shadow on the picture.

Here's the women who can give you the "skinny". Tamra, Geri and Nancy have all lost a lot of weight. The combined total of their weight loss is equal to one, very short, Sumo wrestler. I warn you, before going to Dallas lose weight. I lost 21 lbs and still felt like the short chunky sister.

And here is Ms Onika looking as pretty as ever.

Karen from the 700 Club also attended the conference.

And of course you'd recognize those legs anywhere! What would a women's conference be without Pastor Cheryl's feminine touches.

Here are the Huch girls...Katie, Anna and Jen. I gotta tell ya, there's not a homely one in the bunch!

Shaneen Clarke spoke from a transparent heart and her authenticity touched the hearts of thousands of women around the world.

Here they are....the dynamic duo. Pastor Tiz always says to expect "double, double" and believe me she and Shaneen delivered a double portion blessing to every woman in attendance.

Pastor Tiz is out of the country this week speaking at an international women’s conference.  Be sure to keep her in your prayers as she tells the world how it “Tiz”.  God bless you Pastor Tiz and may His angels bear your up in their arms and keep you safe.  And may the blessing you have been to all of us be seeded back into your life ten thousand fold!






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I’m Off to See the Wizard

I had intended to write several humorous blogs concerning  my preparations for a visit to Fancy Nancy’s; however, I was stricken down with some ungodly flu/cold bug last week and have been on several medications which have so fuzzed my brain that I have done well to manage only basic cognitive skills like brush my teeth and wash my face.  Frankly, at this point I’m just hoping I packed clean undies.

The one good thing about being under the weather is that I totally lost my appetite which helped me finish losing the 20 lbs I was hoping to shed before heading to Dallas.  You see Fancy Nancy has been dieting and is looking quite svelte these days.  Soooo, I knew I couldn’t waddle up to her door step carrying all this extra weight and having people ask her who the little fat chick was who came to visit.  The real motivator came when Fancy Nancy declared that she was shopping for jeans.  Now the Lord knows I love her but it has been awhile since either of us went out in public wearing such derriere enhancing apparel.

When I got on the scale Monday and realized I had actually shed a number of fat cells I decided to do the unthinkable and ……eeeeeks…..dare I say it…..shop for jeans.  The first thing I did was do an on-line search for jeans that slim an hour glass figure.  Armed with the names of several designers I bravely embarked on the treacherous journey.  Now, I did have certain criteria….number one, they couldn’t cost a fortune and number two they had to be comfortable.  To my surprise I found what I wanted in a Levi 512 straight leg jean.  They actually have a bit of spandex and a tummy control front panel.  I couldn’t believe that the first pair I tried on looked rather cute.  Now I wouldn’t say that I look great but I do look “not bad” in them.  I fly out tomorrow for Dallas and I’m taking my new jeans with me.  And as I go I issue this challenge to Fancy Nancy, “Joanie Baloney’s comin’ to town and she’s got herself some boot stompin’ jeans so get your groove on girl and pour your skinny buns into some gravity defyin’ denim!”  Heee Haw!!!

Hey, I can actually breathe and bend over at the same time!

I’m not taking my computer to Dallas because it’s just too much of a hassle getting it through security so you won’t hear from me until my return in ten days.  Stay tuned for exciting photos and stories about all our Dallas Sisters.  See ya soon y’all.

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She’s Baaack!

Contrary to popular opinion I have not dropped off the face of the earth or gone home to heaven.  I’m still here but I’ve been living life at a somewhat hectic pace for what seems like forever.  Several months ago we embarked on a project to build a home on our property at the beach.  We had no idea how long it would take us or how much energy it would take to begin the actual building process; however, I’m glad to say that we now have re-designed house plans, installed septic system, temporary power mount, cleared and leveled property, foundation dug out, engineering design for an abreviated drainage plan (don’t ask) and as of last Friday…..finalized building plans!  And best of all we sign the final paperwork for our building loan this week. Will somebody please say “Hallelujah”.

When you look at the following pictures you’ll probably say, “uhhhh, all I see is a lot of dirt piles”.   Well, my friends, all I can say is…one man’s dirt piles are another man’s future beach house.

Temporary electrical is in place. Hey, ya can't do anything without electricity.

The foundation is dug and septic is in. Wuh hooo!

Mopar Man gives the house plans a final check to make sure things are staked out correctly.


....and with the pounding of a stake a dream is built!


Stay tuned for the next blog on how to decorate a beach house.  And watch for a series of blogs beginning next week on how Joanie Baloney gets ready for a visit to Fancy Nancy’s house.

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God’s Gifts Come in Small Packages


And here she is....a little tablespoon of sugar straight from heaven.

Sometimes we get to experience a little bit of heaven right here on earth.  That’s what happened yesterday afternoon when we dropped by for a brief visit with our son Michael and his busy family.  Alivia, the four-year-old ran into Mopar Man’s arms and squealed when he hugged her , “Grandpa I’m going to give you all my sugar today!”  Then she giggled as I grabbed her out of his arms and said, “Okay for you cutie pie, I guess I’ll just have to squeeze  a little more out of you for myself!”

I set her down on the floor and turned to walk away.  “Wait, Gramma,”  she said.  “I have somein’ important to tell you.”  And then placing her tiny hands over her heart she said, “Jesus is wiving in my heart now.”  I looked at Mopar Man and could see tears welling up in his handsome sun tanned face.  Our son motioned for us to sit down.  He began to tell us about a conversation he and Livie had that morning.  It seems he peaked in on her while she was taking her bath.  “Daddy loves you to the moon and back,” he smiled.  “I love you to space Daddy,” she replied.  “You know who loves you even more than me?” he asked.  Wiping soap suds from her face, she looked up a bit puzzled. “Who Daddy, who?” she quipped.  And then our son began to tell his precious little girl about the love of Jesus.  “Where does Jesus live?” she questioned.  “Well, He lives in my heart and He would very much like to live in yours too,” he said.  “Well, how does He get in there,” she asked quizzically.  As they knelt together on the bathroom floor little Alivia Ainsley invited Jesus to be her saviour and take up residence in  her little heart on Sunday morning, August 7 in the year of our Lord 2011.

Livie turned four in June. When her Mom asked her whether she wanted her birthday cake to say "Happy Birthday Alivia" or "Happy Birthday Livie" she replied, "Asually Mama I would like it to say "Happy Birthday Princess Alivia". Ahhh, there's a bit of Gramma in her I'd say.

And Livie, Jesus wants you to know you will always be Princess Alivia to Him!


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On the Road Again

Sorry I haven’t been on my blog for awhile.  Last week we got a phone call that our sister-in-law, who lives in Northern California, had passed away.  It was a sad time for us but we knew Eleanor had been ill for a couple of years and she was better off with Jesus than with us.  Even so, we knew it was important to go and be with our family so we shifted into high gear to get a week’s worth of work done in four days….thus, my reason for not blogging last week.  (Watch for my next blog on the sweet visit we had with our family)

As we considered our travel options we decided to drive, rather than fly to the Bay Area.  Call us crazy but Mopar Man and I rarely pass up an opportunity for a road trip.  Maybe it’s because we grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when families were use to taking long road trips together. They didn’t think twice about strapping luggage to the roof (back then you strapped in the luggage not the kids) and piling kids into the back of the family station wagon (which in our day was as big as a small cruise ship).  Dads poured ice into huge coolers full of cold cuts, condiments and soda pop while Moms stuffed picnic baskets full of bread, chips, apples, Cracker Jacks and oatmeal cookies.  The rule of thumb was to get up at the break of dawn and head out while the kids were still sleepy and drive as far as you could before they were fully awake and needed their first, out of 250 potty breaks.  Around noon everyone started looking for a shady rest stop with picnic tables and a grassy area for the kids to play and release some of their pent up energy.

And if you were a really, really lucky kid your Dad occasionally stopped at one of those gloriously fascinating tourist attractions whose billboards advertised “The World’s Largest Chair” or “Sam the Alligator Man” or “The Caves of Mystery”.  But best of all were the gift shops.  Oh my goodness….the gift shops, where you could buy a gen-u-wine shark-tooth back scratcher with the words “I survived the Podunk Fish of Prey Museum” etched on the handle.

So, after work last Thursday, in keeping with our rich American Baby Boomer heritage, we headed south on the interstate for the beginning of a three-day 1,200 mile round trip.  I know it sounds like a recipe for exhaustion to some of you but for us it was just another great adventure on the open road.  We cranked up the Beach Boys on the car stereo and started pickin’ up “Good….Good….Good Vibrations”.  I must say after 45 years of marriage and with hundreds of road trips under our belt we have come up with some great tips for making road trips fun and enjoyable.

Here are a few of them:

Start with a good ride...and yes, for you car guys, that's a Hemi under the hood.

Make sure you have a good navigational system. It prevents a lot of stress and ensures that you arrive at your destination with your relationship in tact.

Pull over at rest stops which have scenic attractions.

Take time to enjoy the beauty all around you.

....And sometimes you need to just look up and let yourself be awed. He's a big God folks and His masterpieces are all around us.

Besides enjoying the scenery here are some other ways to entertain yourselves:

Look for interesting signs along side the road like this one that reminds us that at one time there were some folks in northern California who wanted to form their own State of Jefferson.

Whoh Nellie! Stop the car and get out your wallet Honey, Mama's goin' shoppin'!

One of the best forms of entertainment, and a great way to pass the time is listening to audio books. You can check them out at your local library. And oh yes, be sure to put some water and sodas in the ol' ice chest. Don't get stuck paying rediculous prices for cold drinks at the Mini Markets where you stop for gas.

One of the other things Mopar Man and I do when we’re road tripping is to alternate between low budget and medium budget motels (we save the higher end accommodations for when we reach our destination).  For instance on this trip we stayed in a Motel 6 the first night because we knew we’d be getting into Yreka around 11pm and getting up at dawn.  So why spend the money on a really nice motel when we were just going to jump into bed for a few winks and be gone?  On the return trip we treated ourselves to a suite at the Holiday Inn.  We did the same thing with restaurants.  One day we went strictly economy (McDonalds and Subwaywere our best friends on these days) and the next day we treated ourselves to something a bit more upscale.

We  are happy to report that after following all of our own tips we are home safe and sound after a wonderful time with family and each other. ……screen fades to Roy Rogers and Dales Evans singing, “Happy trails to you until we meet again.”  And if you don’t know who they are….start watching some of those old reruns on Nick at Night.


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Two Car Guys and a Baby

A large part of my life with Mopar Man has centered around cars and car events.  As a matter of fact we’re in the last minute preparations right now for the big outdoor car show in downtown Gresham called Rockin’ Round the Block.  The show is Saturday, Aug. 13, 8am to 5pm.  It’s a great event with about 400 classic cars, trucks and motorcycles all lining the downtown parking lots and streets of our little city.  If you have a hankerin’ for a big slice of Americana it’s the place to be.  There will be a farmer’s market, vendor booths, kid’s activities, trophies, rock ‘n roll music and an old fashioned street cruise.  So if you want to have “fun, fun, fun ’til your daddy takes the T-bird away,” come on out and join us.

Even the local police officers like to Rock Around the Block.

Mopar Man will have his 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner on display at the show.  He ordered this gorgeous piece of muscle (that’s car talk, aren’t you impressed?) before his squadron deployed to Viet Nam.  This was our first new car and we desperately wanted to order it with a hemi engine (car guys know that’s a really big deal) but our car payment would have been $10 more a month and we just couldn’t swing it.  Just so you know, 1968 hemi roadrunners are now selling for between $100,000 and $150,000.  It’s one of those things where hind sight is 20/20. Anyway we bought the orginal roadrunner with the 383 engine and it quickly became a full fledged member of the family. Mopar Man even gave it the name “Ronnie Roadrunner”.

Okay, I can’t help myself I have to tell you a very unusual story about Ronnie Roadrunner.  He was built in March of 1968….which in itself is no big deal but get this….our son-in-law’s name is Ronnie and he was born in March of 1968…doo,doo, doo, doo, doo doo, doo, doo.  When our daughter brought him home for the first time he announced that he too was a Mopar guy and he drove a 1970 Dodge Challenger.  Needless to say Mopar Man was thrilled.

Ronnie Roadrunner has played an important role in our family throughout the past 43 years.  It carried our baby daughter, Kathleen home from the hospital after she was born and chauffeured her and the groom away from the church after her wedding.  Mopar Man taught our sixteen year old son, Michael, how to drive a stick shift in it and helped him replace the clutch when he burned one up learning how to drive a four speed.

Ronnie Roadrunner acts as a limousine for the bride and groom


Ronnie Roadrunner was a daily driver for more than 17 years and has undergone a series of restorations throughout the years.  Currently Mopar Man is planning to reupholster the seats and repaint the body. I’m sure the car will undergo many more changes before our son Michael and grandson Conor inherit it…and the Beep goes on!

Here are our "Two Guys and a Baby". Eventually, Ronnie Roadrunner wil have been owned by three generations of Porter men.


I’m going to turn into full grandma mode now and show you some photos of the families’ newest car guy!  Go Conor go!!!

The first thing a guy's gotta do is adjust his mirrors.

Hey, I'm lovin' this beep, beep horn!

"Hey sister, hop in and I'll give ya a ride!"

"And we're off....uhhhh, Grandpa how do I get to the I-5?"



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I’m Nuts Over This Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Guilt-free Snack

On my quest to find healthier sugar-free snacks I’ve run into difficulties.  Just when I think I’ve found something to munch on like a decent sugar-free protein bar, I read the label and discover it has some form of “ose” in it e.g. fructose, sucrose etc.  Then I spy some really delicious looking sugar-free gluten-free cookies in the health food section of Krogers.  I get them home and YUK to the thousandth degree, they taste like recycled pressed saw dust with a dab of paste thrown in for good measure. Besides good taste I want a snack that is crunchy and chewy.  In this age of modern technology why….I say why….can’t scientists come up with something that satisfies my simple basic requirements?  This isn’t rocket science after all…or is it?
Well, leave it up to a mom to come up with a healthy snack that has both good nutrition and good taste.
My daughter, “Farmer Woman”, is somewhat of an enigma to me.  She oversees the daily management of Providence Farm, which includes feeding and caring for four goats, 1 llama, 8 laying hens, 1 rooster, 20 meat chickens, 2 growing boys and one handsome husband.  Oh yes, and did I mention she grows her own vegetables,  makes her own goat cheese, slaughters and dresses out her own meat chickens, home schools her children…well, you get the idea. And by the way, she does it all in her size 6 skinny jeans, stylish hair do and pink lipstick.  After all, she is my daughter.  But I digress.  Back to resolving my snack attack issue.
I first tasted the delectable snack I’m about to share with you in my daughter’s kitchen when I stopped by for a visit a couple of weeks ago. First of all, the kitchen smelled heavenly and I felt my mouth start to water the moment I entered the room.  I knew something that smelled that good just had to taste delicious.  Wiping the drool from my chin (good practice for when I’m in the home) she whipped out the recipe and said sweetly, “Here Mom you can make it  yourself.  It’s so easy.”  As I read the directions my eyes began to roll back in my head.  What in the world is Xitol or Liquid Vanilla Cream Stevia?  And, oh my goodness, how does one soak their nuts? (We’re all sweet Christian ladies, so no snickering please)  I’m happy to say that Farmer Lady took pity on me and drove me to a galaxy far, far away called the Red Mill Natural Food Store where she helped me identify and purchase the necessary ingredients for the best granola snack this side of heaven.

Going to the Red Mill Store is a little bit like a trip to Mars. Nothing looks the same. It's a good thing Farmer Woman was with me so she could act as my guide and interpreter.

I awoke bright and early this morning, gathered all the necessary ingredients and began to prepare some homemade apple cinnamon granola.

Apple Cinnamon Granola (no sugar, grain, dairy or guilt)
  • 2 cups of walnuts(Okay, thrill seekers if you really want to go all out “Granola Woman”, you can soak your nuts overnight and toast them in the oven.  To learn how and why to do this go to Kathleen.peterro.com and click on “Crispy Nuts” in the right hand box.  If this is too much to think about, just add raw nuts and be done with it.)
  • 2 cups of almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried chopped apples(or any of your favorite dried fruits.  Read label to make sure they’re unsweetened)
  • 20 drops liquid vanilla creme Stevia
  • 1/4 cup Xylitol (this is a natural sweetener with 40% fewer calories and 75% less carb intake than processed sugar)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 tbsp. chai seed meal(put chai seeds in the coffee grinder or blender and grind into a meal.  If this is just too much mother earth stuff for you to handle leave them out.  But you risk takers aught to take a shot at this ingredient because my understanding is these little seeds are loaded with good nutrition)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
Mix all ingredients together including nuts and spread on a couple of cookie sheets.  Place in a 120 degree oven  for 3 1/2 hours stirring periodically (my oven’s lowest temperature is 170 degrees so that’s what I had to go with.  I guess the lower the temp the more nutritive value stays in the granola…hey I’m a novice at this health game so I’m doin’ the best I can with what I’ve got)
The granola smells divine when it’s baking.
After baking remove pan from oven and let granola cool.  Then place it in a large zip lock bag or Tupperware container.  For some of you who are still eating sugarie treats this may not seem like a big deal but for those of us who really need to stay off sweets this stuff is divine.  I put it in little plastic bag and slip it in my purse along with a bottle of water (I have a big purse) and voila!  I’ve got an instant yummie satisfying snack.

Put some yogurt in the bottom of a parfait glass. Top with fresh berries and granola. Mopar Man, who is NOT a seeds & nuts kind of guy, loves this tasty treat.

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More of My Favorite Things….Look Good and Feel Better!

Rain drops on roses, whiskers on kittens, brown paper packages tied up with string…..wait, those are Julie Andrews’ favorite things.  Here a few of my favorite things.  As you know I’m living a healthier lifestyle these days and here’s a product that’s helping me do that:

Nature's Sunshine has some amazing products. I purchase them at the Health Center on 182nd just south of Stark St.

I had one of the herbalist do a computer make up on me.  It turns out that I need some extra adrenal support so I purchased the “Glandular System” kit which contains all the good stuff i need to help with my metabolism, digestion, elimination, stress level, sleep and energy level.  This company also has kits for the intestinal system, respiratory system etc.  If you can’t get to the Health Center just Google “Nature’s Sunshine” and go to their website to order on-line.  The thing I love about this company is that after you’ve spent $40 they register you as a member and give you a 40% discount on all future orders (they do this at the Health Center too).  Because I’m a member my cost for the 30 day supply of this product was only $34.  Don’t worry about them trying to suck you into a multi level marketing situation.  They just want you to be healthy (by the way, I’m not selling this stuff) and they want to make their products reasonably priced so you can afford to be healthy.  I’ve been taking the adrenal gland support supplements for two weeks and my outlook on life has improved.  I have more energy and I’m not craving sweets and white flour YEAH!!!  As a recovering sugar/white flour/pastaholic, (hey, I never said I was perfect), this is a really,really big deal for me.

Part of being healthy is feeling good about myself and as part of feeling good about myself is making myself pretty.  As my pastor always says, “Ladies, put on a little makeup!” Here’s some new makeup products I just discovered and I love, love, love them:

You can purchase any of these items at an Ulta store.

The emphasEYES aqua gel eyeliner by tarte is the best I’ve ever used.  It’s packaged as a retractable pencil but goes on wet and dries instantly AND the best part is that it is absolutely water proof.  No more ugly smudges under the eyes due to watery eyes or humid weather.  A word of caution:  make sure you apply lightly because if you get too heavy handed the tip will break off while you’re applying. Don’t get discouraged with this product.  The application takes a little trial and error but once you’ve mastered it I think you’ll like as much as me.  Also be sure to retract the pencil after use otherwise you’ll break off the tip when recapping it.  I have noticed that the brown pencil works better than my purple one for some reason. Cost is $19

Also try the LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer.  Apply a small amount to eyelids before putting on your eye shadow and voila! your shadow looks more vibrant and it stays put…no more creasing or wearing off as the day goes by.  Cost is $20 and a small tube lasts forever…honest!

The Ulta brand eye shadows are on sale right now for only $2 each….shut up!  When is eye shadow ever that inexpensive.  When used with the primer mentioned above it looks fab.  This is the time to stock up on all the colors you’ve been wanting to try.  And guess what?   If you save the packaging and receipt you can return any of these products that don’t work for you to Ulta…no questions asked.

This is miracle shine in a bottle!

Miracle shine in a bottle

What is it about our hair ladies?  If my hair doesn’t look good I can barely force myself to leave the house.  And if I do, I’m convinced everyone I meet is looking aghast when they pass me on the street wondering what I was thinking when I decided to show myself in public on a bad hair day.

The best bad hair story I can remember happened several years ago when my sweet friend, who I shall refer to as “Preacher Lady”, was hosting an international women’s conference at our church.  Several of us had worked long hours pouring our hearts and souls into the conference so it would come off without a hitch.  You can imagine our chagrin when the second day of the conference Preacher Lady was nowhere to be seen.  We called her home, her cell, her office….no answer anywhere.  After an hour or so we became quite concerned about her where abouts, especially since she was due to give an hour long presentation after lunch.  Finally, one of us got a call saying she was dealing with an emergency and would be at the church as soon as she could resolve some issues.  Of course we imagined the worst and speculated that one of her children must be in the hospital or, God forbid, a beloved relative or close friend was in some sort of crisis.

Finally, after hours of speculation she arrived on the scene and taking one look at our faces, realized she had to come clean about her ordeal.  It seems she made an early morning hair appointment for a color and style; unfortunately, her hair stylist decided to try a new product which turned Preacher Lady’s hair a bright orange.  I ask you, what’s a girl to do?  I’ll tell you what she does…first she runs in circles and screams and shouts….and then she lets her stylist know that an auditorium full of anxious women are waiting to hear her speak and there is no way on God’s green earth she is stepping before 500 women with bright orange hair!!!  Alas, the story has a happy ending. The stylist was able to reprocess the color until it was a lovely platinum blond and as Preacher Lady stepped onto the stage and shared this story with the entire audience, 500 women rose to their feet with tears in their eyes to give her a standing ovation.  Don’t ya just love being a woman?

Okay, after that long lead in, here is a product that will give you the confidence to step on any stage in the country. It’s called Bamboo Luminous Shine Mist (also available at Ulta) and it gives my hair more shine than any product I’ve ever used.  Cost is $22 but I’m told it lasts a long time.  If you love shiney hair…and what woman doesn’t…you’re going to love this stuff.  Get ready to shine ladies!


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Wok’s Cookin’?

I am blessed to have a group of amazing women, who I affectionately call the “Sistas”, join me in an effort to develop a healthier lifestyle.  All of us are concerned about losing weight but are convinced that we can only achieve life long results by focusing on the small choices we make every day.  It’s all part of our endeavor to stop the “all or nothing at all” cycle that sabotages our self esteem and polarizes our efforts.  Sooo, with that said, here is one of the small choices I made today to eat healthy.  It actually includes vegetables and supports my basic rule of cooking…quick and simple.  Wok am I talking about?  Keep reading.

You don’t have to have a fancy wok to cook up a simple, healthy stir fry dish.  Mopar Man and I love stir fry so much  we literally wore out our wok.  That was two years ago and I still haven’t gotten to the kitchen store to buy another one because I discovered that my electric fry pan works just as well.

I come from a long line of women who just go in the kitchen and use whatever’s in the frig and cupboard to make a meal.  I think that’s why I love to stir fry.  Here’s one of my favorites and is based on what I found in the kitchen this afternoon:

I used: Half a green, yellow and red pepper; a handful of mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; and half a Walla Walla onion.

Slice all the vegetables. Also, slice approximately 1.5 lbs of top round steak very thin.

Add 1/3 cup water and 3 tablespoons soy sauce to 1 tablespoon corn startch and stir until blended.

Brown round steak in a few tablespoons of olive oil. While steak is browning open a pkg. of Yakisoba Stir Fry Noodles and cook according to directions. These noodles are fabulous. You can find them in the produce dept. of your grocery store. Krogers keeps them in a refrigerated case next to the salad dressings and prepackaged veggies.

After steak is browned toss in all the sliced veggies. Fry veggies and steak for three or four minutes stirring continually.


Pour corn startch mixture over steak and veggies and stir until everything is coated. Turn off the heat.

Place noodles on plates and top with steak and veggies. Soooo delicious and healthy too!

This meal incorporates Sista Karen’s eating plan which requires her to couple protein and healthy carbs together in meals and snacks.  It must be working….she lost 50lbs last year without counting calories or “die”ting.   I’ve followed this plan for two weeks and already feel lighter.  It’s really simple…if I eat an apple, I also eat a handful of almonds.  If I eat a salad I top it with cheese or chicken….well, you get the general idea.  How easy is that?  Following this plan, I’m cooking up some great snack ideas which I’ll include in another blog.  They’re healthy and I promise that they will definitely contain the “YUM” factor.


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When Life is Just “Beachy”

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me lately it’s because my computer developed a fatal virus and had to go to the computer doctor to get well.  NEVER, EVER, EVER download something suspicious!  For me it was a simple Adobe Reader download which I’ve done many times in the past; however, after I did the download I noticed that there were mispelled words in the pop up window.  Alas, it was too late and the damage was done.  A new hard drive and $240 later I am broker and wiser!!!

This whole experience was so frustrating I had to head for the beach and some sweet solitude.  Many of you have asked me what I do while I’m at the beach.  Some have even said, “don’t you get bored?”  Alas, I do not.  Here are some of the things I do to keep myself gloriously occupied:

I put the top down on my little red convertible, whose name is Nancy Ann. We go for rides with the fresh ocean breezes blowing our hair back. You might have guessed that I do not consider Nancy Ann to be an inanimate object. She has a lovely personality and enjoys taking me on grand adventures.

I take long walks on the beach.


I sit in the sun and read long wonderful novels.

I watch old movies. My favorite era is the 40's and 50's. I don't know why...maybe because I'm a baby boomer. One of my favorites is pictured above and is entitled "Gentleman's Agreement". It was made shortly after WWII and deals with anti sematism. It was quite controversial in its' day. I love movies with a message. And to say they don't make 'em like they use to is an understatement.

And after a week or so, just when I've gotten a fill of my own company, I build a campfire, put out the lawn chairs and wait for the rest of my family to show up and celebrate the 4th of July with me. I fear my camp fire building skills could use some honing; however, I find that charcoal starter fluid more than compensates for my short comings in this particular area.








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