Feeling Good Tip for Today ~ Mom Makes Me Smile

Every time I think of my mom, I smile. She’s been gone a while, but the things she taught me have stayed with me.

Here are a few of the things my mom taught me.

      1. My mom taught me to pray.
      2. My mom taught me to respect and treat women with dignity.
      3. My mom taught me to be kind to everyone no matter their station in life.
      4. My mom taught me to be hospitable to all who walked through the door.
      5. My mom taught me that often the best advice was given softly.

What did your mom teach you? What memories of your mom make you smile?


Let Your Mom Know She Blessed You

What if I wrote a letter to my mom (living or deceased) and recounted all the ways she blessed me? If you take time to do this for your mom or someone else you dearly loved, you will find it rewarding, You’ll rekindle special memories of good times, love, and kindness. Moreover, if this person is alive, give them the letter. It will make their day. In many ways, a handwritten letter is felt more deeply than an email or typed letter. It shows that the writer took special care to compose the letter.

Courage To Try

It takes courage to live an honorable life.

“To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thoughts About Courage

It takes courage to live.

It takes courage to live an honorable life.

It takes courage to rise from defeat and begin anew.

It takes courage to stand up for what is right in the face of many who think you are wrong.

It takes courage to be a good mom.

It takes courage to be a good dad.

It takes courage to study in school and excel.

Doing the right thing. Living the right way. Leaving a legacy for which to feel proud takes living a life of courage.

It can be done

Luscious Lucky Leftovers

My brain is in a dangerous place, it’s playing with alliterations. Try saying Luscious, Lucky, Leftovers ten times as fast as you can. Let me warn you of the potential side effects. In a few cases there are reports of the overwhelming desire to put Siracha on toast, scramble eggs with edema, and one report of a baseball announcer always alliterating announcing. Oops. I knew I shouldn’t have subbed for the guy. Moving on, I’ve never found a four-leafed clover, hit all the number on the gillion dollar Powerball, or caught a fish that weighed more than I do. That’s okay. What am I going to do with a four-leafed clover, gillion dollars or a fish that weighs more than me? I can do something with leftovers. I’m a lucky guy. I like leftovers. No, I love leftovers. Make that i love luscious Lucky Leftovers. I can think of a few things that taste better as a leftover. How about reheated pizza? I’m already hungry. Soup is another one. Maybe, I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

I live a simple life. I don’t buy what I don’t need. I’m at peace in nature. I like to be around family and friends. I like good music. And, I like to cook healthy, easy, with as little clean up as possible.  Today, I’m in luck. I have leftovers. Leftovers are a big deal. A really big deal. Having leftovers means I don’t have to go to the grocery. If you live alone, you know what I mean. I think HEB (my grocery) wants to hire me. I’m there nearly every day. I can’t buy a week in advance, I’ll waste the food. I can’t even think that far in advance. I buy day-to-day, sometimes I’ll go out on the edge and buy two to three days in advance. Not today. I have leftovers – Lucky luscious Leftovers.

Do I have a question from the audience? There’s a first-time caller from Dallas.

“Howdy, first-time caller from Dallas. What do you want to know?”

“I don’t like leftovers – convince me, pardner.”

“I’m going to grant your wish Dallas. Follow along, it will easy, healthy, and you’ll get your mess all cleaned up in no time.”

I’m glad Dallas didn’t ask me about BBQ. I don’t eat red meat. Don’t get me wrong carnivores. I’m not biased against red meat eaters. In fact, some of my best friends are red meat eaters.

Here’s what I’m working with: Mom’s leftover bean soup, quinoa, and black beans. Please notice the slow cooker liner. The soup is going in on high about noon. I’ll toss in the black beans and a splash of low sodium chicken broth, and forget about it until dinner.


“Hold on, Ray. You’re going to make a meal out of that pittance?” Darn right. I head to the fridge and see what else is in there. I say a little prayer before I open the door. I hope there is something more in there besides flax seeds, wheat germ, and carrot juice. I’m in luck, look what I found: a bit of asparagus, a broccoli crown (in my last recipe post, I told you broccoli and asparagus were going to hook up), and a chunk of cabbage. I have a good idea on how to mix these three together. Read on.


I get out my large pan, put non-stick Reynolds aluminum foil on it.


I line the pan with my veggies. They are soaked in EVOO, my staple, sprinkled with ginger and crushed red pepper. Time to turn up the heat on these babies. I preheat the oven to 450, go into the study and check Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I hear the bell on the oven. Time to go to work. Not much work – slide the pan in and check it in ten minutes. I use the ten minutes to make a healthy salad and put some frozen, organic blueberries in a small bowl.  Easy is the code word, folks. I check out the soup. It tastes great. It’s hot. And, I’m hungry. One caution, my asparagus is first of the season and tender. It finished up about three minutes ahead of the cabbage and broccoli. Asparagus is jealous of cabbage. What is it with broccoli?

Here’s my meal. The first photo is my plate of veggies. The other photo is the salad, quinoa, berries and soup. Are you going to eat all that, Ray? I took no prisoners.




My Mom’s Lesson

My mom grew up the hard way. A daughter of immigrant parents, her mother died when she was two. Her older sister raised mom and her three other siblings. She stopped attending school when she was in fourth grade. This uneducated woman was one of the most intelligent and compassionate people I’ve known. I recall early in my life when she took me to the library and made sure I had a library card. She made sure I read, read, and read some more. She never asked me, What did you do today?” She always asked me, “What did you learn today?” In her wisdom, she reminded me over and again, “Ray, learn something new every day.”

Learn something new every day. A simple sentence from a simple woman holding a deep, profound truth. If I am learning something new, I am growing. I am capable of changing. I am capable of adapting. I am not quitting. I am not deferring. I am capable of doing much, much more than I am doing at the moment.

Her simple lesson has helped me through my grieving process. I discovered grieving throws you on a steep learning curve with only two choices: Learn and grow or stop learning and atrophy. I’ve chosen to learn and grow. Thank you, mom.

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