Showing posts from January, 2013

The Diet Is ON: A Recipe for Taco Pie

I am OFFICIALLY SERIOUSLY DIETING.   I have been for about two weeks.   Like I did twelve years ago, I am using the Richard Simmons Food Mover program.   Except for the exercise videos.   I just can't.   I'm walking and exercising at home, instead.   The diet counts American Diabetic Association exchanges and you can eat from all food groups, just in proper amounts and portion sizes.   It's more about lifestyle changes. It worked before.   Here's a recap of my food/weight history in this previous post.   It's not Richard's fault I'm having to diet again.  Your prayers are appreciated!

The program revolves around this daily counter.   Based on you current weight, you insert a calorie card with the healthy amount of calories a person your weight should consume in a day.   Each of those little squares has a little door that slides down.   For each serving, you close the window.   Although, I just said door didn't I?   Anyway, when your windows/doors are al…

Part II of The Hostess Series: Strategic Cleaning

This is the second post in The Hostess Series.   This post is about hosting parties and scheduled gatherings, not about having people over for things like play dates, movie nights, book clubs, or a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.

I had a real break-through moment a few years ago after one of our family celebrations.   One of our friends commented, "Terri, you always work so hard for these get-togethers and then you never get to enjoy them because you're busy the whole time."

It really gave my pause to think about how I did things.   I thought back to memories of Mama with guests and remembered her spending most of her time visiting with them.   I was also a regular viewer of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa series at that time.   Ina spoke frequently about how to make your guests comfortable and welcome in your home.  They aren't going to feel comfortable is you're standing there flustered, sweating, and acting as if the event--and their appearance--is a s…

Downton Abbey: Knowing Our Place

Spoiler Alert: Season 3, Episode 4

Last night, Downton Abbey brought the plot back to the beginning of its first story-line and to one of the central themes of modernity: Man versus Nature.    It was especially poignant to me in the wake of last week's anniversary of Roe-v-Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States, as I thought about how we, as Catholics, defend the sanctity of all human life.

In the very first episode of Season One, the family and staff  have learned of the tragic news of the Titanic sinking.    There was the grief over loss of human life on such a large scale, the horror of what the last moments were like for the victims, the faces of personal friends and families called to mind when reading the list of the dead.

Then, there was the shock.   It was the shock of the time for those who heard the news.   It is the shock we still feel when watching news clips of flooded cities or plane crash wreckage.   Today, in this day, and age, how could such a thing s…

At the Base of a Tree

The first major cold front finally blew into our area.   It offered us relief from unseasonably warm temperatures that followed our seasonably hot summer.    Along with a welcome change in weather, Autumn has brought back memories of that season on our small farm in Louisiana. The pecan harvest fell to women and children on our farm.   My father commuted thirty miles to the university where he taught and when he was home, any work he did was related to the cattle.   I would pick pecans after school, but for me, the real work —and the real memories—belonged to Saturdays.   On those mornings, I woke early and dressed in my warmest, oldest clothes.    Blue jeans that could take wet, grass stained knees and a too-large coat–previously the property of my parents or older sister– were basics in my pecan picking- ensemble.     A quick breakfast and then I headed outdoors, grabbed a bucket and prepared to hit my knees. When I tell people about picking up pecans,   they sometimes share their …

Gumbo Weather: A Soul-Stirring Cajun Recipe

My latest post at Bourbon and Boots is all about gumbo.   I share a reflection on this favorite food and then my recipe for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

...The roux is earthy--in color, scent and taste--and so it offers the perfect culinary representation of south Louisiana.   Quotes from southern authors fill my head, along with visions of Spanish moss draped over limbs of live oaks, with all these roux-induced hallucinations helped on by the musical accompaniment of lively or mournful Cajun music as I stir...

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Recent Viewing

I've been making up for lost time when it comes to television and cinema.   Here are a few of the works I've enjoyed recently.

Silver Linings Playbook

Last week, I watched a Thomas Kinkade movie on Netflix.   I wanted to watch a Christmas movie that the kids could also watch.   It was painful to watch, from the script to the acting.   I kept expecting Kirk Cameron to show up.   Topics of family, faith, hope, love, community, etc...can all be explored without being relegated to an artificial, superficial, sanitized environment.   People will be more affected when they can recognize elements of beauty and truth amidst reality that is familiar to them.   They can relate to it and are more likely to seek those things in their own very real worlds.   After watching The Christmas Lodge, I was ready for something real and something well-done.

The trailer for Silver Linings Playbook drew me in after a friend recommended it and then I found out that the director is David O. Russell, who…

Homeschooling: One Wise Move

I could write many posts about mistakes we made whilst homeschooling, but I do know of one thing we did that was correct.   When we had to decide grade placement for our children, we followed the public school's snapshot date for school entry.   We did this with purpose for several reasons.   One, we knew from our backgrounds in education that those dates are not determined in a random manner.   They are based on research and experience.   Two, we had our own personal experience with seeing patterns of "early birthdays" and "late birthdays" in relation to performance and readiness in our classrooms.   Three, and our foremost practical reason: we knew that anything could happen.   What if one of us was in a horrible accident, or worse, died?   An even worse scenario: what if one of our children were seriously ill and required hospital stays or lengthy treatments?    We would not be able to continue homeschooling in those circumstances and we would need to enroll…

The Fighting Irish

Shiny gold helmets, the Grotto, Touchdown Jesus, Lou Holtz, Knute Rockne, the Four Horsemen, the Gipper, Rudy...ah, I love it all, in all of its Fighting Irish glory.

When I was a teenager, I went through various phases of posters on my wall: Duran Duran, River Phoenix, then James Dean.   But only one man's framed picture graced my bedside table: Lou Holtz, coach of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.   It was a black-and-white photo of Coach Holtz on the sidelines, in his classic pose, crouched down and attentively watching the action on the field.

I caught a post-game interview on television, as I wandered through the living room.  The coach on the screen was a grandfatherly man with glasses and an accent that reminded me of my midwestern relatives.   The team had just completed a great victory and Lou Holtz could only talk about the areas of play that needed improvement.   I learned more about him.   He suspended key players for what might seem to be a mi…