Monday, August 21, 2017

Twenty Minutes to Relax

In a workshop a long time ago when I worked with adult learners, a speaker once said that every individual, no matter what occupation, needs 20-30 minutes each day to devote to himself or herself. And you should use the twenty-minute allotment for whatever you deem important at the moment: meditation, daydreaming, reading, knitting, woodworking, fishing, sketching, tinkering, puzzles and mind games—whatever makes you feel happy. Anything, that is, besides using an electronic device to access social media. Why?

In a very hectic world, man needs time for peace, quiet, and reflection.  He needs time for observing the world around him, utilizing his senses--eyes, ears, nose, touch, and taste. There is something calming in being able to “zone out” in your favorite activity. To listen to the birds. To smell the petunias and phlox in blossom. To stare at the clouds in a cobalt blue sky. To taste the first blackberries of summer. Or to touch a fuzzy little kitten.

Let’s face it, vacations can be as hectic as everyday life as we scurry around to see and do everything before our time runs out, and we have to go back to the ol’ grind of daily life with our “selfies and hundred digital pictures” in hand to bore our friends.

When my children were little and bedtime rolled around, I always took time to sit down, grab a cup of coffee, and read. Why read? Because I could be transported away from the humdrum of here and now, and I could step off into another world. I could leave my problems behind and get a smile, laugh, or some good vibes, especially from a book with a happily-ever-after ending.

Lately, I’ve been at a standstill with my writing. I can’t decide whether it’s the heat of summer, the reality that summer is slowly slipping away, or just that I need to take a break, but something keeps me from the keyboard.

I do know twenty to thirty minutes sitting out on my patio on my wicker swing does wonders for my attitude. So come on over and rest awhile with me while we take some time to renew our energy and mindset. Or grab twenty minutes in your favorite spot and leave your troubles at bay for a short time.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

BON APPETITE - Zucchini Bread

It's that time of year when zucchini squash multiple faster than any vegetable known to man. Get ready to bake those loaves and freeze for winter. This is an old recipe my mother gave me.


3 cups grated squash (peel and all)
1 cup oil
3 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs until light and fluffy and add to grated squash. Add the oil, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Then mix in the flour, soda, salt, baking powder and nuts. Mix well and bake in two greased loaf pans for one hour.