Monday, November 1, 2010

Leader Enterprise - November 2010 - Attitude of Gratitude

Here we are almost to the end of the year already!November always brings thoughts of Thanksgiving.I want to challenge you to exercise your attitude of gratitude.When life hands you lemons,you can choose to become bitter...or better.Learning to be thankful for our troubles makes sense of our past and creates a vision for tomorrow.
About a year ago in a conversation with a casual acquaintance I mentioned that my 60th birthday was upcoming.Their response rather took me aback.I suppose this person considered my head of gray hair and then responded with "OOhh-life has not been kind to you.I thought you were older than that". 
I've pondered that many times since and this month I want to share with you many ways that life has been kind to me!I desire to display that grateful attitude no matter what comes my way.It has been said that a wise person doesn't grieve over what they don't have but rejoices in what they do.I wholeheartedly believe that!
How thankful I am that I've lived long enough for my hair to turn gray!After having been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in 1987,I had 2 surgeries totaling 23 hrs and received many sweet blessings during my month's stay in a military hospital in another state,far from my 3 children.I'm thankful to only have some paralysis on the left side of my face and am totally deaf in that ear.I use to complain that I cried too much,but now only one eye tears when I cry,so I can proudly say I cry half as much as I use to.Trust me-there are times that not hearing everything is a good thing too.It's all about perspective.
I'm very thankful for a hubby who continues to live a productive life, even after having a heart attack at 49,and being 100% disabled because of Agent Orange.He is a true blessing in my life and I'm thankful for every day we get to share life together.
We often share a chuckle whenever I proclaim how blessed we are that he's disabled because we get to park close to the grocery store or restaurant door.
Even though we lived away from our families for 16 years,how thankful I am that he was able to give those years to military service,and our children got to experience and see things many never do.
Since our young grandson Caden was diagnosed with leukemia over 2 years ago,we are so thankful his health is stabilized much of the time now though he continues monthly treatments until January 2012. We are grateful for wise doctors, nurses and modern technology.Our family has received many rainbows in spite of the storm.What a joy when he dressed up as Woody from Toy Story for Halloween and greeted us with a"Howdy Pardner".The little things in life truly are the big things.
Cold and flu season is here,so if you've avoided getting sick thus far,good work! Here are some easy ways that you can continue sickness prevention(or get healthy sooner if you've already caught a bug):
  • Take Your Vitamins:vitamins can help fill those nutritional gaps created by stress and lack of sleep when you're sick.You don't have to spend a fortune on vitamins either.According to Consumer Reports, store brand multi-vitamins are on equal footing as their name brand equivalents.
  • Change Out Your Toothbrush Regularly:bacteria can build up on your toothbrush while you're sick and decrease your immune system's effectiveness.Either get a new one after you've been sick or boil yours in some water and vinegar(without melting it!)
  • Drink plenty of fluids:When you're sick,take extra effort to stay hydrated.It helps keep mucus thinner.Every time you sneeze or blow your nose,you're losing moisture.Drinking warm tea or broth helps loosen up the mucus,making it easier to cough out.Stay away from caffeinated or alcoholic drinks,which will dehydrate you.
  • Disinfect household surfaces regularly:Door handles,remote controls,light switches,computer keyboards & telephones are storehouses for germs.Swiping them down with a disinfectant wipe helps eradicate  germs.
  • Wash your hands,Wash your hands,Wash your hands:this one thing cannot be emphasized too much.
It seems that pies are often considered for our Thanksgiving menus.This delicious recipe from my cookbook tastes much like pumpkin pie and serves 15-18.It can be made ahead also.Whatever you enjoy for your Thanksgiving meal,I hope you gobble til you wobble.
1-3/4 c.white sugar,divided
1-1/2 c.all purpose flour
1/2 c.cold butter or margarine
4 eggs,lightly beaten
1(29-oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp.ground ginger
1/2 tsp.ground cloves
2(12-oz) cans evaporated milk
whipped cream and additional cinnamon,optional
Preheat oven to 425.In large bowl,combine 1/4 c.sugar and flour;cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.Press into an ungreased 9"x 13"x 2"baking dish.In same bowl,combine remaining 1-1/2 c.sugar,eggs,pumpkin,salt and spices.Stir in milk and blend.Pour over crust;bake 15 minutes.Reduce heat to 350;bake 45-55 minutes longer or until filling is set.Cool;cover and refrigerate overnight.Cut into squares;top with whipped cream and sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.
Be watching for my December column that will be chocked full of holiday recipes.