Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Dressed up by granddaughters,
a.k.a. "sisters"
 Ta da . . .
We are happy to announce that the second book, I AM DACHSHUND, is now in the publication process.  This doxie is absolutely thrilled about its impending release!  Also, the cover design has been completed and approved--readers and dachshund lovers are gonna love it.

Stay tuned for further publication updates on I AM DACHSHUND . . . it won't be long now!  And once released, it will be available on Amazon (and Kindle format), Christianbooks, Family Audio Library (no Kindle or Nook needed), Barnes and Noble, plus many other websites.

Check back often for further updates!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Granddaughters in "bamboo

We don't have snow that often here in North Carolina, so it is a real treat when we get it.  This year, we had a white  Christmas, and the snow is my favorite kind:  fluffy, moist enough to make snowballs, and deep enough to turn our world into a winter wonderland.  I enjoyed watching the children play from my perch in the sunroom.  Their mom took the pictures:

Monday, December 20, 2010


Yes, today is our fortieth wedding anniversary!  It has been quite a ride along the way, chock full of blessings and joys, notably our daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, siblings & their families, my mom--well, you get the idea!

Whatever possessed us to marry so close to Christmas?  This definitely dates us, but Clark was in the U.S. Army "way back then," and his tour of duty in Vietnam was over in November 1970.  I had the entire year to plan the wedding while he was away, so we set the date of December 20, giving us a few weeks to finalize details after his return in November of that year.

In this age of technology (and we thought we had technology back then), I'd like to announce that we did not speak to each other that entire year, surviving on letters (handwritten) and photos!  Oh, some wives and fiancees recorded cassettes for their guys, and we thought that was a big step! 

In any case, much has changed over the past forty years, but some things remain the same:  our love for each other and for our wonderful family.  In the midst of a sometimes topsy-turvy world, some things are priceless (to borrow a phrase from a television commercial).  Being with our loved ones, sharing laughter and conversation with them, and watching the grandchildren blossom before us simply cannot be taken for granted.  The Lord has given us so much, and we are thankful to Him daily.  Our daughters are endearing, our sons-in-law are like sons, and our little grandchildren bring such joy to our lives.  My mom is the only parent still with us, and we celebrated her 83rd birthday Saturday.

Our 40th anniversary with our
"baby" Duke

Enjoy your family.  We share some wonderful times and memories, and those are so much better than anything else out there!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la. That, my dear friends, is not all there is to Christmas!  Political correctness notwithstanding, "Jesus IS the REASON for the SEASON." 

While this post is bordering on a rant, I stand my ground:  Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Period.  If folks don't like the fact that it is Christmas, then they should just clam up and get out of the way when we celebrate it!  And, why spend lots of money on Christmas presents and decorations, celebrating the secular side of this holiday, but object to its raison d'etre, or its basis for being a holiday in the first place??

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This Thanksgiving was the first time that all of our family was together for a couple of years, and we made the most of it!  Daughter Bethany and hubby Kurt flew in from AZ and spent the week with Clark and me, Holly and Philip.

We attended Alexa's program at school.  We all trekked to the Blue Ridge Parkway for an afternoon, one of our favorite things to do.  We cooked and ate some delicious food, celebrated my birthday, and just enjoyed each other.  It was
difficult to say our good-byes, but we have some wonderful
family memories we will always cherish.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


As we Americans make plans to stuff ourselves into oblivion on Thanksgiving Day, I pray that as we sit around afterwards in a calorie-induced stupor, we stop to have a modicum of thanks for all the blessings in our lives.  YES, WE HAVE NUMEROUS BLESSINGS, even if some of us cannot, or will not, keep up with the Joneses.

I am thankful for my wonderful family--hubby, daughters, sons-in-law, grandkids, Mom,  brother and family, plus assorted others (whew!)--and how they have all enriched my life.  God has sheltered and protected me, always sustaining me and guiding me.  I love and appreciate my country.

The Thanksgiving meal is my favorite:  turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams (remind me to tell you how my dad made them), assorted vegetable casseroles, yeast rolls and/or biscuits, and whatever desserts the family enjoys.  In our case, it always HAS to be something chocolate (like Hot Fudge Pudding Cake) and banana pudding.  Nah, nobody in our family is fond of pumpkin pie.  Sorry!

I love the fall season:  the colors, the cooler weather, and gathering with our loved ones to give thanks, in much the same way as the first Thanksgiving.  During this holiday, we also decorate for Christmas, so that after all that work, we can enjoy the decorations for more than a few days.  Both of our daughters and their families will be with us, so we three women will be the decorator nazis while the men make themselves scarce!  Even the two dachshunds and one cat will be curious about what we are doing.  I am certain as well that we three  will probably have at least one laughing fit over the slightest thing.  We are prone to these fits when the three of us get together, much to the chagrin of our hubbies--even the two little granddaughters are showing signs that this gene has been passed on.

Before I go, here is my late dad's recipe: 
Amounts?  Use one medium potato per person.  The sauce should be about two cups, enough to spoon over potatoes while simmering with at least a cup left to work with.

Peel and slice sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
Add amounts as desired:  dark brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, vanilla flavoring, pinch of salt.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, vanilla flavoring, butter, and salt in nonstick electric skillet or saucepan.  Stir on medium heat, allowing it to melt and begin to bubble.  Add potato slices, spoon sauce over them, and turn on low heat to simmer for a couple of hours.  Spoon sauce over slices, stirring gently, every 30 minutes.  Do not cover. The goal here is for the sauce to coat the firm, but tender, slices. 

Voila!  Truly candied yams.

Here's wishing all of you a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.  Let's focus on what we have, not what we don't have, both tangible and intangible.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Subtitle:   "Indulge a Doting Grandma" 

Our three grandchildren so enjoyed dressing up and going trick or treating for the first time this year (never fear--Mom and Dad were right there):


Monday, November 1, 2010


Dachshunds remain one of the more popular breeds across the United States and around the world:  what's not to love??  

Ranging from their loyalty, intelligence, and sense of the comic--to their elongated shapes, facial expressions, and empathy--these dogs become our "beloved sausages."

Here are a couple of examples offering "proof" that dachshunds are a beloved breed:

1955 Sports Illustrated cover

1906 postcard painting

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Our doxie Duke "resting" with Hubby
 This is probably one of my favorite photos of our dachshund . . . in it, he is exhibiting several common dachshund traits:

  • enjoys resting
  • likes to be close to humans
  • has that "don't make me move" expression
  • displays plenty of attitude

Duke is at once adorable, loving, fun, annoying, aggravating, and loyal. 

I invite your reactions!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Can you believe that I currently have absolutely NOTHING to write about??  There is nothing new going on here, nothing happening, nothing to share.  I am not even going to add any photos this time.  What kind of a dull life am I leading, anyway?

This kind: 
  • My entire family is well--nobody is sick right now.  What a blessing!
  • I have people to love and who love me.
  • I have relatively good health, except for the part about aging and decrepitude.
  • I am blessed with a wonderful husband, a mother, a brother and his family, cousins, sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, aunt and uncle, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren (who happen to think I am great :).
  • I have a caring church with friends, and a pastor who "rightly divides the word of truth."
  • We have three funny "animules" in this house, and they entertain us daily (unless, of course, they are annoying us).
  • I have a reason to laugh daily.  Humor is good medicine.
  • I have saved the best for last:  no matter how difficult life gets, no matter what happens, I always have my faith in Christ that sustains me!  The poem "Footprints" is right.  What more could I possibly want or need?
Sometimes we simply need to STOP and take stock to realize everything we have, not everything we don't have.  Right now, I can't think of anything I else I want or need. 

I have a refreshingly mundane existence.  Thank you, Lord.

Monday, October 4, 2010


To begin with, I am not going to mention how I plan to vote or tell you how to vote.  I simply want to urge all registered voters to cast informed votes next month in the midterm elections.  I will, however, give my personal criteria for choosing political candidates.

I find out all I can about those running for office, not only statewide, but also in my locale.  I have literally heard comments like these:   "He seems like a nice enough fella . . . maybe he'll do a better job than Sen. X."  Or, "Well, she sure had some good jokes at the fundraising dinner." 

In response to that kind of thinking, voting based upon personality or  speaking ability is far too risky--such surface skills are not necessarily those of true leadership and integrity. For incumbents, I check out their legislative records while in office; I look for how they voted on legislation and what they have been up to.  Then I choose those whose views most closely mirror my own. 

However, if it's time infuse the political process with some new blood,  then I also research the new candidates well.  I check out where they stand on the issues, searching for their honesty in personal and business dealings as well.  However, I don't let some really stupid youthful comment derail me from their stand on those issues.  After all, most of us have said some pretty dumb things.

Making intelligent, well-informed choices means that I know why I am voting for certain candidates, and also why I am not voting for others.  I want my choices to be based upon knowledge researched and checked beforehand.  As a Christian, I also seek for wisdom and guidance from the Lord in making those choices.

Today, more people are voting for candidates' stands and/or records, not just along party lines.  And, I might add, more people are truly involved in the political process, seeking out those candidates who are honest, trustworthy, and open.

Informed voting is far too crucial to allow emotionally-charged barbs--so often hurled during campaigns--to sway me from choosing my candidates, and it should never be a mere coin toss.  I love America, so I plan to vote for those candidates who exhibit exemplary leadership and character qualities, a love for our country, and a record of integrity. 

I urge you to do that as well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Golden yellow . . . burnt orange . . . flaming red . . . the fall of the year is literally a feast for the eyes as trees turn from various shades of green to all those bright hues that beckon us to the mountains, the woods, or even our own backyards.

My family lived in Virginia near the Blue Ridge Parkway for eleven years. Every October, we made our annual trek to the Parkway to view the glorious foliage, and we were never disappointed. Along with the stunning colors, we were delighted with the nip in the air, apple harvests, picnics beside mountain streams, and walks along wooded trails. We often collected those bright leaves to make collages, tangible reminders throughout the year of God’s color palette and His striking creativity in nature’s shapes, sizes, and hues.

When we were children, I remember all of us joyfully jumping into piles of raked leaves; now, I do not recall why that was so much fun! As adults, I suppose we often think only of the work it takes to get those leaves into piles and removed from our yards. Back then, the fall season was exhilarating—it represented the start of school, frosty mornings, clear sunshine, the anticipation of wonderful holidays to come, and especially the anticipation of snow.

Still my favorite time of the year, fall always evokes fond memories, but also creates new ones. My husband of nearly forty years, then my fiancé, returned home safely in the fall of 1970 from a tour in Vietnam. We were married in December of that year. Every fall generates a happy recollection of that memory as we look forward to celebrating another wedding anniversary together. Today, with our children and grandchildren, our family enjoys celebrating birthdays and other anniversaries together in the fall as well. And, even after all these years, I still see young children today having a great deal of fun jumping into piles of leaves!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I didn't write these, but a friend sent them to me recently.  Enjoy!

1) The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.  He acquired his size from too much pi.

2) I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3) She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4) A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5) No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.

6) A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7) A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8) Two silk worms had a race.  They ended up in a tie.

9) A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall.  The police are looking into it.

10) Time flies like an arrow.  Fruit flies like a banana.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Recently, I've been watching and listening to all the rhetoric about that infamous act of terrorism upon America nine years ago. For those of us who are old enough, we all remember where we were and what we were doing at that moment, much like the dark days of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

 I've seen hurt, anger, and pain all over again, along with statements ranging across the spectrum.  Today, we hear about burning Korans and arguing about where a mosque should be built, but these are not going to change any hearts.  Book burnings have never accomplished whatever they were meant to do.  The insensitivity to the families of the 9/11 victims will not be changed by argument and protest, either. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Our three grandchildren "hamming it up"
Their mom was poised to snap this picture when the baby yawned--so she told the girls to yawn, too!  This picture will be priceless when they are in high school (heh, heh).

"Smiley" - our grandson at 6 months
To all grandparents out there:  aren't grandchildren an extra special blessing from God?  I know ours certainly are.  I can't believe how silly I can be, just to get a smile from the baby!  He's become a great mimic, so he and I enjoy making faces at each other.  Others in the family also join in the fun, doing whatever it takes to hear that baby chuckle coming from him.  To me,  a baby's laughter is one of my favorite things to hear.

And the granddaughters love to dress up in their princess dresses (oh, they have several in their princess box, complete with tiaras and scepters).  They often ask me to "announce their arrival at the ball" in my best British accent (which isn't very good, by the way).

As they come through the parted curtains from the foyer, I announce:  "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Miss____, wearing a lovely blue gown of silk, enhanced with a white fur wrap. As she removes the cape to reveal her gown, it features an overskirt of shirred chiffon and flower accents.  With the puffed sleeves trimmed with lace and chiffon, the jeweled bodice with a sweetheart neckline, she now curtsies before you, turning around slowly; please note the matching shoes featuring tiny slender heels and with bows at the vamp . . . " 

After the third time or so, the "announcer" usually begs off!  Such is life in a day with the grandchildren.  What a blessing they are to us.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Do you ever wonder why certain small annoyances happen they way they do? 

 As a Christian, I know that God is in control.  Period.  However, those little daily aggravations that pop up certainly make life interesting.  Sometimes it seems that they are all working together to make the day as difficult as possible!!  I know it is merely my outlook at the moment, and that events and happenings do not gang up on me (do they??). Here are some instances I've dealt with, and I am sure you have as well:

Why do people seem to slow down when I am in a hurry?  Whether I'm driving, standing in a line somewhere, or trying to get through the grocery aisle, others become movie actors running through a field of daisies in slow motion.  (Really!)

Why doesn't it rain if I bring my umbrella?  Well, most of the time it doesn't--BUT if I forget and leave the umbrella in the car, BOOM!  The bottom falls out as I am walking across the parking lot.

Why do small children, more often than not, do the exact opposite from what they are told to do?  I know the answer of course, but human nature never ceases to amaze me.

Why does toast always hit the floor buttered side down?  That has never happened to you?  It will.  Just wait.  This premise is also true of jam, peanut butter, honey, or anything else that is messy.

Why don't I think something is funny if someone tells me that it will be?  Movies, TV shows, jokes . . . if someone tells me, "Oh, you will split your sides laughing over this!"-- that is the death knell to any humor for me.  Odd, isn't it?

Have some little annoyances to share?  Lave a comment below or email me on the "contact me" sidebar link.  I'll include some of them in a new post sometime.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


These days, most colleges have distance learning programs available, and now a large number of elementary and secondary schools do as well.  More and more families are opting for the homeschool approach, often in conjunction with distance learning schools such as Sycamore.

I greatly enjoy teaching English 7 - 12 at Sycamore, and I want to feature it today. 

If you are thinking of involving your child in a cutting edge education, I invite you to peruse Sycamore's website.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


It seems that all my author friends who have blogs are currently writing about the craft of writing.  Therefore, I must also put in my two cents' worth (or with inflation, maybe my twenty-five cents' worth) on this topic.

In my brief writing foray, I have found that it is best to begin with those things I know and with which I am familiar.  I don't write about daily life in Greenland two centuries ago, because I don't have a clue about what happened.  One can obtain a reasonable amount of correct information through research, but a new writer needs to concentrate on the details of description, characterization, and plot before branching out into the world of research. 

And let's get those grammatical conventions out of the way.  Writers simply cannot slink by without them:  spelling, capitalization, sentence structure, punctuation, diction--all those pesky little details that go unnoticed unless done poorly.

Therefore, in my grand total of two books (one published and one awaiting publication), I have based my stories upon actual events and real people.  It's quite simple to make a character believable when that character is a real person whom I know.  Appearance, personality traits, mannerisms, speech patterns--are already built in.  And, making a scene or a chapter ring true when I was "there" is fairly easy as well.  I can (and did) use license to change the time frame and details to make the writing flow, but 95% of what I've written in my two books actually happened.

I'll leave the more difficult details of writing to the seasoned writers--but if you are just starting out as I did a few years ago, write as often as possible about what you know, then go back and polish it, several times if need be.  In high school writing, my students often create that first draft--and then turn it in as holy writ to be graded.  They resist having to revise and aren't interested in changing one iota.  However, in polished writing, the difference between a high school single-draft essay and mature writing style comes in the form of hard work--lots of it. 

Revising and rewriting are not very glamorous (I mean, who goes around saying, "Oh, I can't wait to revise those ten pages I wrote yesterday!"), but they can pay big dividends in polishing an otherwise drab piece.  Sometimes, I set it aside and go back to it a couple of hours or even days later. With fresh eyes, the words sometimes come tumbling out so quickly that I must speed type to capture them. 

Try it.  You'll like it--or at least improve your writing skills. 

I have even revised this short post several times over the course of this day.  And, I will most likely revise it several more times before I'm satisfied with it.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Welcome, readers!  Today is a very special interview with the talented dachshund, Shadow, who wrote an autobiographical tale in his first book, I AM SARGE.  I was privileged to get him here for a short while, as he is an extremely busy and sought-after canine personality.  Perhaps in another segment, we can have him answer readers' questions.

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

MDH:  My dear Shadow, known as Sarge in your books, we are so glad you are able to join us today for this informal chat.  We know you stay busy with your family, friends, and promotional activities.  What have you been up to lately?

SHADOW:  Thank you for the honor.  Besides personal appearances, I do whatever I can to promote "my" book.  Seems that a lot of dog lovers out there haven't yet heard of I AM SARGE.

MDH:  Well, then . . . here's your golden opportunity.  What would you like to say to your audience of humans--those who already know you as well as prospective new readers?

Thursday, August 5, 2010


As a small child around nine years old, I remember an incident when my mom, brother, and I were flying to Germany to join my dad for his tour of duty there (he was in the U.S. Army).  The pilot's voice came over the speakers:  "Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching a bad thunderstorm, so make sure your seatbelts are fastened--I'm taking this plane above the clouds."

As I looked out my window, I saw dark gray thunderheads, lightning flashing, and I was scared.  In the next moment, I felt the plane banking as the pilot took us up above the clouds.  In a few moments, I was amazed to see that the sun was shining brightly up there, and below us was a carpet of cotton balls.  I turned to my mom, who was sitting beside me, and exclaimed, "Look!  The sun is shining now!"

Gently, she said, "Honey, the sun was shining all along--it always is, even when we can't see it."

As I grew older, I recalled that experience, realizing that it had deep spiritual parallels:  in this life, the thunderclouds of doubt and circumstance often blot out the sunshine (God's love and care), but it is always there, even when we cannot "see" it.  We have to get beyond those barracades in order to experience God's unfailing love and care.

If you are going through a difficult time right now, I sincerely hope you realize that God's love is there for you.  How do you claim it?  Become His child in order to experience His abundant love and grace:  "For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:9). 

Does that mean your difficulties in this life will be over?  Not at all--but He will guide and direct you, watching over you all the while.  Everything that happens down here has a reason behind it.  God is in control and knows the beginning and ending of every circumstance in my life--and in yours as well.

"If He takes you to it, He will take you through it."  Trust Him--when you cannot see His hand, trust His heart.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Our daughter Bethany (pictured  on left with Holly, our other daughter) is a student at Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, AZ.  Among other yummy things she has made, here are a couple of her made-from-scratch chocolate desserts--we adore anything chocolate! 

This delectable delight is a chocolate sponge cake with vanilla icing and cherry cream filling:

Red velvet oreo cupcakes with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting--her own creation :).


Friday, July 30, 2010


Ahhhh . . . theme parks in the summer are pure joy for children.  Here are our two granddaughters at Carowinds waiting to ride the big swings.
And here they are enjoying another ride!

This smile says it all!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Waiting for something or someone has never been my strong suit.  One learns patience through waiting, albeit by kicking and screaming at times.  Moi?  I detest waiting for someone who is late to a meeting, a lunch date, or an appointment.  To me, it is like the "latee" has absolutely no regard for the precious time which others have invested.  Oh, sometimes lateness is unavoidable, and for that, I also plead guilty.  A flat tire, a last-minute phone call as one is poised to go out the door, or a sudden downpour all excuse lateness in my mind.

The publishing business also has its share in the waiting game.  When I first embarked on writing my second novel, I was told by insiders that a one- or two-year wait was the norm for a book to be released.  I scoffed, pointing out that my first novel came out in less than a year!  Here I am, however, two years and one month later, still waiting for that second novel to be released.

Some family members as well as friends are quizzical--they are wondering if I really DO have a book waiting to see the light of day!  Yes, of course.  As the manuscript sits in cyberspace somewhere, it is getting seasoned and aged, becoming all the better with the wait time . . . NOT.  I am merely attempting a bit of humor in this humdrum waiting stance.  My publisher has gone through a couple of difficulties during this wait, so blame is not assigned there.  That is not to say that the wait has been any easier, as fellow authors in the same boat are also straining at the gates, wanting their books released.

What to do?  Well, in a word, WAIT.  The books by my publisher are good, and they are released regularly--my turn will eventually come.  The Lord knows my situation, He is in control, and oftentimes, He also requires me to wait for answers to prayers.  Waiting is part of the human condition.  Do I like it?  No.  Do I welcome it?  No.  Do I always understand why I must wait, when others seemingly truck right along?  No. 

However, I have learned over the years that MY timing is not always God's timing.  Knowing the entire situation from beginning to end, God's timing is based upon His love for me, His wisdom, and His grace.  Therefore, in waiting, I lean on Him, trust Him, and realize that He has never yet let me down. 

Still a work in progress when it comes to waiting, and although I truly believe Isaiah 40:31, this writer has had to "learn that lesson" several times over the years. 

I espouse "PBPWMBGIFWMY.*"  Have you ever seen this button worn by someone? 

*Please be patient with me because God isn't finished with me yet."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dabblers of the Faith?

As a Christian, I don't put God in a box to be trotted out for Sunday services.  He is an integral part of my life, not "something" to be put away, compartmentalized, and categorized until I want to bring Him out for my wants/needs.  He is not a celestial bellboy or a heavenly vending machine.  I believe Joni Earickson uttered that last sentence many years ago, so I don't take credit for it.  Today, the mission of Christianity and the Church is running on autopilot rather than having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ . . . and sharing it with the world.

What brought this on, you ask?  There are those who would have Christians put up, shut up, and give up.  I'm not going to do that!  I must stand fast on His promises, stand up for what is right, and stand strong in the face of evil in this world.

Fellow Christians, we must pray, serve, witness, and study with renewed energy!  We cannot  be mere dabblers of faith . . . but committed soldiers going forth to all the world to spread the Gospel in His name. 

Join me!

Monday, July 5, 2010


*Disclaimer: If poking fun at dieting offends the reader, stop at the title :). This post is merely a tongue-in-cheek commiseration at attempts for healthy eating in today's society.

Are you SICK and TIRED of dieting?  Are you also sick and tired of everything associated with dieting:  DIET cookbooks, DIET menus, exercise equipment, designer sweat bands, well-meaning “friends” who drop not-so-subtle hints about DIETING . . . even talk show hosts  slobbering over some nauseatingly thin, reject-from-a-refugee-camp-looking celebrity and her recent workout video, fat grams, counting calories, and. . .(shudder). . .aerobics?  If any of these things make you gag, then this post is for you!

On one hand, our contemporary society dictates that we are all supposed to fit into a size two dress (and I look askance at anyone whose dress size is smaller than my size 11 shoe)--the famous Mona Lisa would even be jeered to scorn in today's skeletal climate.  On the other hand, most of our societal gatherings involve food, and plenty of it!  Club meetings?  Food!  Church socials?  Food!  Family reunions?  Food!  Bridal showers?  Food!  And I don't mean "tofu surprise" or "watercress a la cardboard," either.  Gravies, sauces, butter by the pound, gooey desserts with  mounds of frosting--all beckon the unsuspecting.

When one is on the wagon with any other unhealthy habit, that individual is applauded for making the right choice.  When dieting, however, we get "Oh, just one piece of cake (or brownie, or cookie, or whatever) won't hurt you!"  Do we tell smokers trying to quit: "Oh, one itsy-bitsy cigarette won't hurt you"??  NOPE.

As a fellow sufferer on the treadmill (oops, sorry!) of this diet-crazed country, I’ve lost at least 1,000 pounds in my life (and gained back 1,100). I've wondered what would happen if I just decided to eat and enjoy it for a change. You know what I mean—gobble up chocolate chip cookies simply because they smell heavenly, taste even better, feel good going down, and provide a wonderful sense of well-being? (I'm told that chocolate produces endorphins.)  That sort of thing is usually not permitted unless a hefty serving of guilt is included as the entree:

“My dear, are you sure that you want another serving? That dress is getting a bit snug, you know.”

“Do you have a tapeworm?”

“Eating again? We just had lunch!”

“I can’t believe you ate the whole pizza!”

The meals I'm talking about have no “guilt garnishes” slipped in beside the desserts. Eat up on my pre-diet if you are one of those who hates to diet (for now, anyway). We know we need to eat right, lose weight, exercise, and ingest all sorts of healthy roughage--all the while, craving those luscious, but forbidden goodies!  

Remember the golden rule of dieting:  a calorie is a unit of flavor—the better the food tastes, the more calories it contains.  Celery, therefore, must be in the plywood family.

So relax. Have a few good meals before you go on that inevitable DIET.  Live it up this week by going to those all-you-can-eat buffets, family reunions, church pot luck dinners--get my drift?  If you follow this pre-diet idea, you’ll finally enjoy your food, secure in the knowledge that you plan to DIET afterwards. 

Save the plywood and rabbit food for next week--when you embark upon THE DREADED HEALTHY DIET!

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