Borrow a baby …. or a dog.

Sometimes when I’m walking along the river, figuring out something in my head, I find myself talking out loud. This, when I’m walking alone, with no buds in my ears that might lead others on the path to think I’m on the phone. Uh oh…speed up or slow down, but move yourself away from the people beginning to stare.

Not okay to talk out loud to yourself, but perfectly fine to have conversations with dogs and infants in public? See it all the time and people smile and think it’s cute.

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So, next time you have to work something out with yourself, borrow a friend’s baby or dog and go for a walk. I don’t know of many new parents who wouldn’t mind an hour or so alone – and fresh air makes babies sleep better. And a dog walk? It’s actually easier to borrow a dog than a baby and there are a lot more of them around.

Go. Walk. Figure it out. Feel better.

It’s Just a Number

A small card hangs in my closet. It says “How Old Would You Be If You Didn’t Know How Old You Are?”

Well, in a given day or week, my behavior spans the ages. Really, whose doesn’t? But I do sometimes wonder how I am now older in actual years than some of my friends who were born before me.

I have a good friend, who will not be ‘outted’ on these pages, whose husband threw her a big birthday party for what I thought, no knew, was her 42nd birthday. Over the course of the evening, the other guests talked about what a great 40th surprise birthday party it was and ‘how beautiful was that ring?’….which meant that I was no longer just eight months older than she was. I caught her alone in the kitchen….

Me: “Gee, it’s funny. Everyone thinks this is your 40th birthday.”
She: “Oh, isn’t that interesting.”
Me: “Interesting?”
She: “Well, really quite cute and you’re right, it’s funny.”
Me: “And just hold old are you going to say you’ll be this year?” (Catch the sarcasm here?)
She: “Oh, I really don’t talk about my age anymore. It’s not important”

Apparently important enough for her to fudge the numbers! Her secret is safe with me but I still wonder why she…and others I know, jiggle the math. But I’ll admit they are right, it just doesn’t matter, certainly not enough to stress about it. And here, let me share my absolute favorite television commercial of the year. I have a new idol.

 

Stress!

Relax, National Stress Awareness Month is almost over. At this point, I can’t read one more article about how stressed we are, what it’s doing to our bodies and what we have to do to get it under control. We ¬†need a break not just from our daily stresses and those additional heartaches heaped on us this month, but also from all those warnings about being stressed!

I am taking a pad and pen to bed with me tonight and, before I go to sleep, I’m going to write down the names of the four or five most important people in my life and what they do that makes me smile. I’ll dwell on this for awhile, then turn out the light and have a good night’s rest. Tomorrow, I’ll tuck the note in my wallet and carry it around with me.

Keep smiles close by.

Picking the Perfect Bed Tray

A bed tray is an important purchase for those who either spend an extra hour or two reclining in bed on the weekends, or those who stay for the whole day. I’ve never thought of a bed tray as a luxury, but rather as a necessity, to avoid spills and messes and to hold books, newspapers and laptops.

Trays with legs work best, so you don’t have to worry about balancing it on your legs…and they should be spaced wide enough to fit comfortably over you. A lip around the edges will help keep things from sliding off, or spills from dripping onto your sheets.

If you watch movies and videos on your tablet in bed, a tray that can tilt up will make it more comfortable to watch when you’re reclining. Whether you need one with pockets for supplies on either side is up to you. They are good for holding newspapers which can leave newsprint stains on your sheets.

One of my favorite bed trays (yes, I have more than one) fits perfectly over the footstool that matches the wing chair in my bedroom, serving double-duty as a table top for cups and food when I sit in the chair to read or watch TV, and also for brushes and hair tools when I’m drying my hair…more on that some other time….

Mother’s Day is just under a month away…..

I Want to Live in This World

Attributed to Hillary Clinton:

“At the end of the day, at the very least, every woman should have the ability and the confidence and the choice to make whatever decisions she wants to make that are right for her, and not be judged for it.”

How much stress in your everyday life would such a world erase?

Jelly Roll Pan Chicken Dinner

I’m including pictures with this recipe only so you’ll believe how easy it is to make and serve. A complete dinner gets cooked in one jelly roll pan and served on one platter. It can be made for one or a dozen. It doesn’t get much easier than this.

One chicken breast, skin on and bone in, per person. If they’re big, like the ones here, you can cut them in half
Salt
Olive Oil
Garlic Paste
Red Pepper Flakes
Rosemary, fresh or dried
Small Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut in half if bigger
Spinach
Cherry Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Combine a bit of olive oil, garlic paste, rosemary, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

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Lightly salt the chicken breasts on both sides, brush them, top and bottom, with the herbed olive oil mixture and place on the jelly roll pan, skin side up. Brush the potatoes as well and scatter them around the chicken.

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Roast for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven. Place the chicken and potatoes on a plate and set aside.

Add the spinach to the hot jelly roll pan and coat with the drippings – how long depends on how much you want the spinach to wilt.

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To plate: Spinach goes on the serving patter first, then the chicken breasts, and the potatoes. Scatter some cherry tomatoes around and you are done.

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One jelly roll pan to cook. One platter to serve. One delicious and easy dinner.