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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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September 24, 2020

Pumpkins, Apples, and Pears, Oh My

Welcome to fall and an abundance of pumpkins, apples, and pears. These are just a few favorites that enjoy a big debut this time of year. The Great Pu

September 17, 2020

Creating Space…in Your Refrigerator, Freezer, Life

Lately I’ve noticed that I have the need for more space—physically, mentally, digitally, and when it comes to my schedule. And no, I do not want a

September 10, 2020

Standing in the Doorway of September

We’re standing in the doorway of September. Summer days still linger, yet autumn is inching its way into our lives—and wardrobes. It’s one more

September 3, 2020

Sometimes I Eat My Feelings

Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I eat my feelings. How about you? We feel sad, so we eat food that soothes us. We feel like celebrating, so we

September 2, 2020

Carob Brownies

(This recipe first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Ingredients:  1/2 cup all-purpos

September 1, 2020

High-fiber, low-fat legume adds the flavor without the drawbacks of chocolate

(The following article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Online version Most pe

August 27, 2020

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready? Or are you waiting for the perfect time to…                             …learn a new skill? …write the book? …ea

August 25, 2020

Gluten Free Pie Crust

This recipe yields two 9-inch pie crusts. 2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (Namaste and King Arthur are brands I’ve used)  1/2 teaspo

August 20, 2020

It’s Tomato Time

As I was caring for my tomato plants, I had the memory of my father teaching me about cutting off the suckers–those shoots that show up between

August 13, 2020

Enjoy a Bit of Sabbath Today

Today, take some time to lighten things up a bit and do something you really enjoy—for about an hour. Warning: this may take some discipline. Monks

A Day with Hunter

 

My family and I spent a wonderful day with my nephew, Hunter, and his parents.  He is two and one-half.  He is very busy.  We gifted him with a couple of very educational toys that were sure to please….him, not his parents.  The gifts?  Band in a Box, and tools with a battery operated (and noisy) screwdriver.  I am certain we are his new best friends and my sister-in-law’s worst nightmare.  Hee hee!

We shared meals together, relaxed until Hunter took a nap to recharge, hiked through the woods, and enjoyed the day.  It was a simple day of just being together.  As I spent time with this little guy, I was reminded of the days long gone of looking after my boys.  Yes, Hunter is a busy kid, but it was refreshing for me to spend some time experiencing his simple joy.  He loves to be with his parents and learn more stuff.  He has great manners and is warm and loving to others.  He starts each day fresh and is not hung up on the past.  Perhaps he is a great example to all of us as we approach a new year. 

Of course, it makes sense to think about the past year and look at those things that we could improve upon.  It makes even more sense to then let those things go by forgiving ourselves and moving on.  Life is about progression, not perfection.  If we look at the growth we experience year to year, hopefully we will see changes in a positive direction.  Whether it is physically, spiritually, in our relationships, or any aspect of life, it is about getting better at finding the balance, the harmony. 

So, at the end of the day and the year, I am grateful for my blessed life and my family.  I am grateful for lessons that find me each day.  I am grateful for another opportunity to try to figure out this journey of life.

“To understand is to forgive, even oneself.”  Alexander Chase    

It’s All in Your Perspective

 

I was in a grocery store line this past week, waiting to check out.  As usual, I followed my list and remembered a few other items along the way, ending up with a fairly full buggy.  Why does it seem as though we always need more food in the house?

Behind me in line was a woman and her husband.  They had a very full buggy.  She commented to me that it looked as though we would both be doing the same thing—feeding our families for Christmas.  I smiled and nodded.  She then proceeded to tell me that she had been doing this for 50 or so years, and that it should be someone else’s turn!  With three grown children and lots of grandkids, she had done her time with the Christmas dinner.  Oh, and why would they even want to come to her house, since they all have much bigger homes with lots of  room?  Her home is tiny in comparison. 

Perspective.  I suddenly recalled wonderful memories of returning to the home where I had spent lots of my growing-up years.  It was a spacious farm-house in the middle of corn and bean fields.  My favorite thing to do when I went “home,” besides eating my mom’s wonderful meals, was sleep.  It was so quiet and peaceful there in the country.  I could totally relax.  As my family grew to include a husband, children and dog, they felt the same sentiments.

So, I felt compelled to let my new acquaintance know this.  The reason her children liked to come home for Christmas was because it was comforting and safe.  How wonderful to have that relationship, when many families are at odds and may not even be speaking to one another.  Yes, it is lots of work to cook for a house full of people who probably need a nap after dinner.  My suggestion to her:  Let them know how happy she is that they can be together, and ask early on for help in the cleanup.  How many times would there be less misunderstanding and feelings of resentment, if we would only ask for what it is we need?

When a situation gets on your nerves, try turning it around to a positive.  Maybe it’s not possible, but maybe it is.  Decide to enjoy the people you love, because it is a choice we make every day.  God Bless~

“We all have the power to give away love, to love other people.  And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are, and we change the kind of world we live in.”   Harold Kushner

Are You Ready for Christmas?

 

It is December 22.  Have you been asked that question recently?  How did you respond?  Did the question evoke any specific emotion, or some anxiety perhaps?  I have been asked this numerous times in the past few days.  Well, am I?

In the traditional sense, no.  I still have shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, cards…yes, the whole Christmas routine… to complete pretty darn quick.  So, here I sit, listening to Josh Groban sing Christmas songs to me.  Sweet!  The traffic is nuts, so I decided I should take some time away from the outer world.  Can you relate? 

Things eventually seem to get done when you need them to.  Have you noticed that?  Whether you are having guests for dinner or planning a huge party, things just seem to fall together, right on time.  Being ready for Christmas falls into this same category.

However, my thinking is a bit different when I hear this question.  I believe Christmas is something we need to be ready for everyday.  To quote my poem, “Choices,” we would be wise to “carry the spirit of Christmas throughout the year.”  Think what a different world it would be if we did!  What if we prepared for each day by deciding to be kinder and more compassionate to everyone that crosses our path?  How would we behave if we truly believe that what goes around comes around?  Would we do anything differently if we knew that Jesus had it in His day planner to show up tomorrow?  Well, would we?

A nice winter’s nap sounds quite appealing right about now, but I must put forth a bit of effort to bring about some Christmas cheer.  Guess I had better finish those cards….

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”   Isaiah 9:6  NIV

Healthy Ideas from December 12, 2011

Here are some highlights from last evening’s Healthy Living Exchange that focus on a topic that is huge this time of year (and all year!):  FOOD

Decide now what your health will look like as you enter 2012.  We have several weeks to make a plan that will serve us toward better health, rather than simply allowing the holiday season to have its way with us.

1.  Decide on the weight you would like to be the first week of January.  Be a realist.  If you are on a course to shed some pounds, continue on your set plan with that picture in your mind.  To maintain the weight you currently own, set a course to keep you there.  Make the decision now to eat balanced meals and healthy snacks, keeping an attack on the Christmas cookies to a minimum.  This does not mean you have to avoid every delicious treat that passes your way.  This does mean that you must make the choice now on how you plan to handle those special times. 

2.  Exercise.  Make an appointment in your day planner like you would any other appointment.  Have scheduled times to walk with a friend or meet at the gym for a workout.  Accountability is huge here.  What a great gift for someone you care about and yourself! 

3.  Be nice to you.  Set aside a bit of time, perhaps 15 minutes or so, each day to do something that makes you happy.  Read a great book, take a nap, soak in the tub, write Christmas cards, you get the idea.  Drink plenty of water (add lemon/lime if it is not your favorite) and get plenty of rest.  How can you be the light if your candle is about to be extinguished?  Answer:  You can’t.

Our protein shake of the month is chocolate mint.  To make it, I took some original almond milk, a few ice cubes, Arbonne chocolate protein, Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream (small scoop), and a handful of fresh spinach.  (No, you do not taste the spinach unless you use over 2 cups.  Lots of healthy benefits by adding spinach to any smoothie or shake.)  Swirl in the blender.  Delicious!  To cut calories, you could substitute a bit of peppermint extract for the ice cream.  If you prefer to avoid protein powder, try a bit of cocoa powder, keeping in mind that it is not sweet.

We also tried raspberry Kefir.  Kefir is like yogurt that is liquid.  There are several flavors or plain to choose from.  This product adds the good bacteria we need to keep our digestive health happy.  Perhaps you are familiar with the term probiotics.  Lots of those in Kefir!  This may be added to any smoothie, or simply enjoyed as is.  Kefir is located near the yogurt section of most grocery stores.

In combination, these ideas could help us all enjoy a more balanced entry into a new and exciting year, if we choose to implement them into our daily life today.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”  3 John 2  NIV