Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reviewing Soft Foods: Corn Spoonbread

Soft Foods For Denture Work

Corn image from Pixabay.com
Today I will review another of the soft foods that I fixed while awaiting my dentures. Corn Spoonbread has been a favorite of mine since I was knee-high to a grasshopper! At any large family gathering we could count on someone bringing spoonbread along for everyone to enjoy.

So, when I needed to eat nothing but soft foods; corn spoonbread was something that I knew I would enjoy eating and I knew it was not a difficult recipe to make. Not only did it meet the criteria of being a soft food but it is also scrumptiously delicious!

The recipe that I am about to share with you is the one that has been passed down from my Grandmother and Mother. We always make ours in a cast iron skillet but if you do not have one, you can always use a baking dish or casserole dish instead.


1 pkg Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
1 15 oz. can cream corn
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt


Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly oil your cast iron skillet.

In a large bowl combine the Jiffy mix, sugar and salt. Add both corns, sour cream, butter and eggs. Mix well. (Make sure your butter has cooled before adding or you will cook your eggs!).

Spread the mixture into your cast iron skillet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

This is so very good and as you can see very easy to make! What was great for my husband and I was that it made enough that we could have it for a couple of days before we ate it all. It is soft enough that it does not hurt those tender gums, tasty and filling enough that my tummy was sated. The bonus for me was that it had a feeling of nostalgia, too. Remembering watching and helping my Grandma make it in her kitchen, helping Mom make it in hers and enjoying it at all of those family gatherings.

My husband likes this recipe so much that he wants me to make it as a side dish more often. It goes great with any meat: beef, pork or turkey. It looks pretty and cheerful on the plate and it seriously makes your tummy happy! It is one of those wonderful comfort foods that I know your family will enjoy whether soft foods are a necessity or not.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review of Picmonkey Photo Editing Site

Why I Love PicMonkey.com, and Some Tips For Using It

Until I discovered PicMonkey, I was stuck with using the free photo editing program that came on my HP laptop, and using Paint, the standard accessory in the Windows platform for computers. But now I am hooked on PicMonkey! It is my favorite free photo editing software! I never got around to buying Photoshop, and though I tried to use Gimp, it just was too hard for me to decipher. (Gimp is touted as a free version of Photoshop and many of my friends swear by it, but maybe I am software challenged.) So I thought I would show you some of the ways I use PicMonkey to edit and embellish my photos for articles on the internet and how you can too.

First of all, if you don't have an account, it's free, so just go to PicMonkey.com and sign up for a free account. Once there you will see a page that varies as far as the image, but at the very top you will always see this:

Picmonkey header photo

You can see that I am signed in, but if you are not, just click on "Log In" on the right, and then you can begin editing.

You can also see the 4 buttons in the center that show where to start your photo editing project. For basic and advanced editing of your own photos, click "Edit." I will cover "Design," and "Touch Up" and "Collage" further down this page.

Once you do, it will show a screen asking you where to get the photo you want to edit. You can choose your computer, Facebook, One Drive, or their own new platform, Hub. Most people are probably going to choose a photo from their own computer so I will explain using that option.

Once you click on "Computer" it will open a window to your own files. Just scroll to your photo folders and click on the photo you wish to edit. That will place it on the screen in PicMonkey.  You will notice that on the left is a row of buttons. At the very top is a symbol of lines and dots and if you hover over that, it says "Basic Edits."  If you click it you see a list of edits you can do.  Here is an example of a photo I uploaded to the editor with the sidebar showing the menu:

PicMonkey Review

The first thing I like to do is open the "Rotate" button. (3rd button down on the left) You can rotate your photo in all directions, to change the orientation from horizontal to vertical and also to change the top to the bottom, just by clicking the arrows. But what I like to do is play with the "Straighten" slider. I guess I don't hold my camera steady as I often have photos that are crooked. But that is an easy fix in PicMonkey. Just slide the arrow till you have a straight photo and click "Apply." It even has guidelines to make it easy for you.
PicMonkey Review

Then I like to open the "Crop" button. The reason I straighten before I crop is that straightening sometimes takes part of the photo off, so I want the whole thing straightened before cropping.  Here you can see the crop lines I am going to use. You can drag the lines around till you are happy with your photo.

PicMonkey Review

Here it is after I clicked on "Crop." You can move the crop lines wherever you want them. When you are satisfied, just click "Apply" and then your photo will be magically cropped like this one.

PicMonkey Review

Then I like to do some basic editing so I click on "Exposure." The first thing I do is click on "Auto Adjust." This is often all that I do, as it seems to make my photos pop and look great. But you can also play with all the sliders and if you like the way a photo looks you can click "Apply" and those changes will be done.  When you are satisfied, just close that little window by clicking "Cancel" or "Apply," whichever is the case. Here  are how the other sections look when they are open. On this rose photo I have not done any other edits. I just cropped it and auto adjusted the exposure.

PicMonkey ReviewPicMonkey ReviewPicMonkey Review

If you make a mistake, there is an "Undo" button. At the very bottom of the screen is a backwards arrow. Just click that anytime you are not happy with your design and undo the last step! You can actually keep hitting "Undo" until you get back to a place where you are happy and then continue your design from there.
PicMonkey Review

Now besides the  "Basic Edits" you can do a lot of different effects. One I use a lot is the "Text" function to add text to photos. This is great for making photos for Pinterest and other media like Twitter. So just click on "Text" and you will see this: (photo on the right)

Notice the slider on the right. Use it to scroll through all the choices of Font you can use.

I am going to use Marcelle Script so I just click on it and change the color of the script in the little box that pops up. I will use a very pale shade of blue but you can pick whatever you want. Move the box wherever you want and drag the edges to make it bigger or smaller. Then start adding text in the box. Example is below.

PicMonkey Review

And below is a picture of it after adding the text. Just click on the photo somewhere else besides the text box when you are finished and the text box disappears and your text is there.

Peace-Love-Travel-Light blog

Now let's say I want a background under the text. You can add any number of special effects by clicking the buttons on the left and scrolling till you find a design you like and clicking on the photo to place it. You can also move it around on the photo. Just click on it once and drag it wherever you want it. Here  I have added a ribbon. Once I clicked on it and placed it I changed the color to White. Then I added text over that.

Peace-Love-Travel-Light site

There are plenty of other effects you can use on the left too. The "Touch Up" ones are great for faces! And if you want a set of photos in a theme, there are lots of themed effects. They have a Zombie theme, Victorian theme, and lots more!  Just click on any of them to see all the things you can do. It would take me hours and hours to go over all the wonderful effects you can create, but the easier and more fun way to learn it is to add a photo and play with all the buttons to see what you can do! PicMonkey also has tutorials explaining how to use all the functions. Just scroll down on the Home page and you will see them.

Here are a few things I did to the image after I got the text and the ribbon trim on it. First are different edges. One is a simple box edge and next is a craft scissors edge.

State Flowers of the USA Coloring Blog

Best Coloring Books for Adults Blog

Then I added an effect called "Frost" which adds the color of the frame as a brushed effect all around the edges, and on the lower one I added a "Bokeh" overlay to make it sparkly. These are just a few of the effects you can get!

Aurora Art Supplies Colored Pencils
State Flowers of the USA Coloring Blog

PicMonkey Review

You can also use PicMonkey to design graphics and my favorite, Facebook covers. Up above where it says "Edit, Touch Up, Design, Collage," click on "Design." Then you will see a square, a Facebook cover, different sizes, and a custom option. To do a Facebook cover, just click that option and it opens up a screen with the exact size you need. Next click on "Overlay" on the left. You have your choice of many there, so you can scroll through and have fun designing your own cover by adding a combination of effects on the screen. Or you can add your own, just click on "Your Own" at the top. Here I have used the same photo of roses by clicking on the file in my computer and then dragging the edges out till the whole template is covered. Then I have added some text on top of that. It's now ready to upload to a Facebook page.

PicMonkey Review

One more thing that I think is pretty cool is that when you are designing, you can choose your background or even make a transparent background for designs you might be doing for Zazzle or other design platforms. For that you go to "Basic Edits," and click on "Canvas Color." If I wanted to make a round logo for example, I would choose a transparent background and then overlay a circle from the "Geometric Shapes" overlay section. Then I would put whatever design I wanted inside the circle, like text, colors, and/or textures. Once I have saved the design I have a round logo. Here is the one I designed for my Aurora Art Supplies products and website.
PicMonkey Review

And here are some Photos I edited in PicMonkey and added banners and text to use on my Amazon ads for my Aurora Art Supplies Colored Pencils and Water Color Pencils.

Okay let's say I want to design a background for a website. And maybe I want a Blue sparkly one. First I would add Blue as my background color. Next I would go to the textures in the "Overlay" section and start adding them till I have an effect I want and then save it. Then I would go to the editor in my Wordpress theme and where it says to add a background, I would upload that file. Voila, a custom background. Here is one I made so you can see. I used a Blue solid color, then "Space" overlay,  then a "Bokeh" overlay. I played with the saturation till I liked it and saved it.

PicMonkey Review

There are so many effects you could really play for hours and design any number of cool things. And I didn't go into the "Collage" function, but all you do for that one is click on the "Collage" button above, pick a style from the left side menu and add photos to the cells by dragging them to the one you like. You can even design text boxes and add them as one of the photos of the collage. My friend Kim is a master of PicMonkey collages. Here is one she made for her educational site for kids to learn State facts.

PicMonkey Review

A very useful function that I use all the time is the "Resize" function at the bottom of the "Basic Edits."  Just click on it and you can make your photo whatever size you need! Very useful for websites!

So I guess you could say I am a PicMonkey addict now! Try it and I bet you will be too! And one more little hint. You can use it for free and most of the features are included. But a few of the fonts and effects are premium so you have to pay extra for those. Well I wanted them for a project so I signed up for one month only ($5) so I could make some cool designs. Then I reverted back to the free version. A few days later PicMonkey sent me an email asking me why I cancelled the paid version and one of the answers you could pick was "It costs too much." That's what I picked and then they offered it to me for $33 a year, or less than $3 a month.  So if you want the paid version, that's how you can get it for less. Try it for a month at $5 and then cancel. I love  bargains, don't you? Thank you PicMonkey! 
*of course, this may have been a one time offer, I can't promise that the offer will always be there. But it doesn't hurt to try, does it? 

I Have Loved You for a Thousand Years - Love is Endless

Angels on Duty - Fridge Magnet
Most of us have heard 'I Have Loved You for a Thousand Years' by Christina Perri. If the song sounds familiar, it's the final song in the Twilight Series.

Today's Review isn't about Music, It's about Love

What do I know about love? Well I know what you know and what we've all heard; it's what makes the world go round, it's all there is, and of course, it's all we need.
In an increasingly cynical world where people gather in their corners defending positions, ideas, beliefs, what's right and what's not, love patiently waits for us to call it 'one step closer'.
You and I know that this life is fleeting, and whether we belief it's our one and only existence or that our consciousness/soul returns to master it's lessons is irrelevant to this particular life we're living as us - In the end, at our end, one question requires an answer, 'did we love'.

It's the love we give that travels with us and nourishes the earth. That same love imprints itself on those left behind, and they in turn pass it along. Like the tiniest seed buried deep in the earth, love grows.

Questions we might ask about our own love
After the storm, did we find our way back to love? 
When hope slipped through our fingers, did we find our way back to love? 
When the ones we love died, and a piece of us was taken with them, did we find our way back to love? 
When we suffered an illness that scared us to our core and thought, why me, did we find our way back to love? 
When our TV told us why to hate, and who to hate, did we find our way back to love? 
When people took positions that opposed everything we stood for, did we find our way back to love? 
When dark thoughts tried to infect us, did we find our way back to love? 
When we hated ourselves for our own mistakes and choices, did we find our way back to love? 
When we were hurt, did we find our way back to love? 
When someone we love was hurt, did we find our way back to love?
Most of all, when we caused someone pain, did we find our way back to love? 
Did we do this all unconditionally? Did we find our way back to love without expecting anything in return? Did we just decide to love our neighbor?

Here we are, the size of a piece of sand, all together, living on a giant ball that hangs in the middle of the universe questioning ourselves, and perhaps even questioning what it means to have faith. Our mere existence on this spinning ball is a testament to faith.

Yet, we are born with the greatest gift, the capacity to love ... and after centuries still have yet to harness it's power.

This unseen power can't physically be measured, it only exists if we declare it, and the more of it we give the more of it we have. It's the greatest energy yet to be weaponized, for good.

How Do We Get There

Our love for each other is the road home. That's it. There isn't another road that takes us there.

We can spin our wheels til the cows come home, it won't make a spit of difference ... it's the gift of love, even when it's the toughest to give, that takes us there. Test yourself - Think of the hardest person there is to love, and try to love them, to pray for them, to genuinely wish them well.

Planting love in places that need planting, is one of the best uses of love.

For my Dad, Happy Birthday - I have loved you for a thousand years and will love you for a thousand more.

Through it all, love remains
Barbara xxoo

The Heart of Country Music

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Review of the AOC Computer Monitor

AOC 24-Inch Computer Monitor

Well, there I was working on my computer when suddenly, with no warning, my computer monitor dimmed and the picture slowly faded away.  Knowing very little about the inner workings of computers, I had no idea what just happened.

I tried rebooting the computer, but to no avail. I then called my local computer repair shop and described the problem. Their advice was to bring in the tower to my desktop computer for them to run a diagnostics.  Since this service is FREE, I was happy to do so.  Turned out the computer is just fine (thank goodness), so the problem was the monitor. 

Old Computer Monitor (c) Wednesday Elf

My old monitor was part of a desktop computer setup I purchased about eight years ago, so it isn't all that surprising that it finally wore out.  The solution ~ buy a new monitor.

Since most computer monitors are interchangeable with any computer setup, it didn't really matter which brand of monitor I bought. Therefore,  I went searching for the best buy.  I didn't need anything really fancy. I'm not a gamer, so didn't need a special gaming monitor.  So it really came down to getting the most for the money.  

AOC 24-Inch Computer Monitor


My NEW Computer Monitor (c) Wednesday Elf
The monitor I purchased is the AOC 24-inch slim design LED flat screen.  My old monitor was also a flat screen, but was just 19 inches. I'm still getting used to the bigger screen! 


On the subject of the 'bigger screen', I noticed quite a difference in the appearance of icons and fonts on this 24-inch monitor. With a larger 'space', everything appeared smaller. After awhile, I discovered there was a way to get back to viewing things on my new monitor the way I was used to. My cousin stopped by for a visit and was telling me a story about how he changed the DISPLAY on his 92-year-old dad's computer monitor to a larger font so he could 'see' the words with his Macular Degeneration limiting his eyesight.   So, following my cousin's instructions, I did a similar change to the size of my fonts.  


Changing the Monitor Display


In case you are wondering, simply go to the Start Menu, click on Control Panel, then Appearance, then Display.  


Under the Display tab you will see something that says something similar to "change the size of text and other items on your screen". There are some preset options (small, medium, large) and one option that states 'set custom text'. The 'medium' choice is preset at 125% larger than normal and that works well for my Uncle, but is too much larger than I need.  So I chose my own percentage and found that about 108% larger makes everything on my screen look the way it did when I had just a 19-inch monitor.  Nice to know that you can have something new that is 'bigger and better', and still have it display the way you want.


Key Features of the AOC

  •  eSaver software to set low-power configuration
  •  23.6" viewable image with 16:9 aspect ratio
  •  Narrow bezel and slim design
  •  Multimedia connectivity with VGA and DVI ports
  •  VESA 100mm wall-mount compliant

This AOC monitor can be found in a variety of places, including Walmart, but I decided to buy mine at Staples because it was on sale this week. 

AOC began as Admiral in Chicago in 1934.  In 1967 the company became the Admiral Overseas Corporation (AOC).  Established in Taiwan, it became the first manufacturer of color televisions for export. Today AOC is known as the Worldwide Leader in Display Manufacturing. Click here for more information about the AOC company.

Back Online!

I picked up my computer tower from the repair shop after they checked it out and found it in fine shape.  On the same  trip, I brought home my new monitor.  I unpacked and set up the monitor,  plugged all the cords back into the tower, and turned it on.  My new monitor immediately lit up nice and bright and I was once again 'back in business'. I was without a computer for less than 24 hours, but missed it terribly! It's amazing how dependent we have become on our computers!

Quick Links for a Computer Monitor by AOC:

Review by Wednesday Elf. 

Click here to read more of my Reviews

Friday, August 19, 2016

Doctor Thorne - Movie Review

Doctor Thorne
I confess, I am truly a hopeless romantic!  I prefer romantic novels and shows, including romantic theater productions.  I especially enjoy a story that isn't transparent.  While I always want the couple in love to end up together, I much prefer a plot that holds me captive until the end.

When I discovered the movie Doctor Thorne offered on Amazon Prime, I was quite intrigued by the brief description.   I also confess that I have a weakness for British historical dramas.  I love the settings, the scenery, the castles or homes, the gardens, the costumes, and the characters.  As soon as I read that the script was written by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, I was hooked.  

The movie is based on the novel that carries the same title.  The book was written by Anthony Trollope, an author that Julian Fellowes compares to Jane Austin and Charles Dickens.  A high recommendation indeed!  

Since I was previously not familiar with the Mr. Trollope's work, I was rather excited to discover a new author as well as a new movie.

A Brief Synopsis of the Movie "Doctor Thorne"

 Julian Fellowes Presents Doctor Thorne -
Trailer and Complete Movie on Amazon Prime
Check Price
Set in England in the 1850's, the movie opens with Roger Scatcherd, a local stonemason, calling out Henry Thorne for his inappropriate behavior toward his sister.  The accused scoffs at Scatcherd and merely states that he "did not know his sister and honor were acquainted."   Roger Scatcherd grabs him and throws him to the ground accidentally killing him. 

The movie immediately moves forward to 20 years later where we meet Henry Thornes brother, Doctor Thorne, who has raised his brother's illegitimate daughter, Mary.  She has grown up alongside the wealthy Gresham sisters and their brother, Frank.  Mary has previously been welcomed into their home, but when it becomes obvious that she and Frank are in love, his scheming mother, Lady Gresham, and aunt, Countess de Courcy. take charge.  It has been determined that Frank must marry into wealth in order to save their estate and Mary is certainly not wealthy.  They set out to find a suitable match for Frank.

Mary, herself, believes she is not worthy of Frank once she finds out that she is illegitimate.  It would be a marriage that society would not tolerate.  

There are many layers to this movie as each character is more fully developed.  You really have to try to put yourself in the position of each person to understand them better.  As much as I wanted to hate Lady Gresham, I could actually grasp her desire to protect her son, her home and their place in society.  

My Opinion of "Doctor Thorne"

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon when I went in search of a new movie to watch.  I viewed the entire series in about 3 hours.  As expected, Doctor Thorne was a movie well worth watching.  Now, I would like to read the book.  I feel quite certain that the author, Anthony Trollope, will spend even more time developing each character and go into much greater depth of explanation.  

I found myself wondering why the movie was named "Doctor Thorne" when it focused on the love story between Frank, Jr. and Mary.  I also questioned how Roger Scatcherd became Sir Roger Scatchard, especially after spending a decade in jail.  I also wanted to know more about the relationship between Doctor Thorne and Frank Gresham Sr.  The basis of their friendship and trust for one another.  

Even though I wondered about the title, those relationships and social positions, I still found the movie to be quite entertaining and spellbinding.  "Doctor Thorne" might not be as well developed or as lengthy as "Pride and Prejudice" starring Colin Firth, but it is definitely a movie I can recommend.  And, while Doctor Thorne might not be Darcy, he is wise, considered and admirable. 

Doctor Thorne Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Reviewing New Grandmother Gifts

The message on this new grandma necklace makes it the perfect gift for a new grandmother.
Every Time a Baby Is Born So Is a Grandma
by GutsyGoodness on Etsy
Our family is expecting a miracle. In fact, the blessed event is coming up fast. Yes, in just a few short months I'm going to be a grandma! It's taken time for the reality to sink in, but I was thinking about it today and suddenly decided to go online window shopping for something for myself, the future new grandmother. Here are some items that I've added to my wish list, each of which I think would make a fabulous new grandmother gift.

I absolutely love this vintage pendant necklace. The message reads, "Every time a baby is born, so is a Grandma." That sentiment is perfect for me since I'm new at this grandparenting thing. I adore the vintage look of the antique bronze pendant and, even though I'm not sure yet what my grandmother name will be, "Grandma" on the charm works fine for now.

The necklace also comes with a birthstone charm. I'll have to decide if I want to go with the probable, calculated birth month or if I want to choose a different birthstone to start with, either my own or that of my son, the dad to be (actually, I love that idea). There are more add-on charms and other options available with this piece, including the length and type of chain. The shop owner packages the necklace in a beautiful box that includes an encouraging note about new grandmothers that puts a fitting finishing touch on this absolutely perfect gift.

Sharing Activities With the New "Grand"

For grandmothers who enjoy gardening, a custom-made Grandma's Garden sign is a great gift idea.
Grandma's Garden Sign
by BobsWoodSignShop on Etsy
Recently, my daughter-in-law, the mom of this soon-to-be-here baby, asked me if I had been thinking of things I might want to do someday with my new grandchild. Funny she should ask, because actually I had given that some thought.

One of the pastimes I enjoy is working in my little garden and, when he or she is older, I'd love to plant the seed of loving growing things in that tiny tot's little head. That's why this new grandma would like to have a "Grandma's Garden"sign like this one. It's one of those items that, when I saw it, I really wanted it. I may wait until my future grandparent nickname is settled, though, since Bob of Bob's Wood Sign Shop on Etsy takes special orders!

These mother-daughter aprons are perfect for a grandmother and granddaughter, too!
Pink Mother-Daughter Aprons
by GrandmaJackies on Etsy

Another activity I'm looking forward to when spending time with my future grandchild is cooking. That's something I fondly remember doing with both of my grandmothers, with my mom, and then eventually with my sons. So whether this kiddo is a girl or a boy, I'm sure we'll spend lots of time together working in the kitchen.

If it's a girl, I'll choose these grandmother-granddaughter pink checked aprons for the two of us. I like the aprons, but I especially like this simple photo that shopkeeper GrandmaJackies included in her Etsy listing. Reminds me of when I was the little girl helping in the kitchen.

A Title To Live Up To

This pretty, floral Best Grandma Ever mug would make a perfect gift for any new grandmother.
Best Grandma Ever Mug
by Willow and Olive on Etsy

Becoming a new grandmother has been pretty easy on my part, so far. I mean, well, you know. My son and daughter-in-law are doing all the work and before long, voilà, we'll be grandparents. The job of being a good grandmother isn't something I plan on taking lightly, though. I want to be a good influence and do the best job I possibly can do to be the best grandmother I can be. This beautiful floral "Best Grandma Ever" mug is something I'd like to have so I can be reminded daily (though I'm not likely to forget) that I will have a truly important title to live up to.

So, these are the new grandmother gifts I've picked out for myself. How did I do? Do you have a favorite? Have any new grandparenting advice to share? I hope you'll let me know in a comment below.

Enjoy this review of several fabulous gift ideas for a new grandmother. | ReviewThisReviews.com
Thanks for sharing!
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It's National I Love My Feet Day (August 17th)

National I Love My Feet Day is a recent addition to the Calendar of Events for the Year.  August 17th marks that Day.

But, and I add this caveat with all seriousness, it should not be relegated to one day only.  Feet play an important role in everyone's life, everyday.  

Not only do our feet help us to move around, keep us upright, balance us, (even when we've partied a little too hard), but they also have the most bones, of any structure of our bodies.  

That's why when our feet hurt, everything else seems to hurt too.  Did you know that the foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments?  (wikipedia)

That's a lot of "stuff" happening down there.  Most people don't give a second thought to their feet, that is, until the foot or both feet are not working well.  Then all of a sudden we realize there is that body part down there, that needs some attention.

I know from my own experience that my feet would walk, run, help me dig in the garden, and a host of other activities that I took completely for granted, until one of the tendons in my feet started to act up.

Common Problems with Feet!

Yes, I'm talking about Plantar Fasciitis , the tendon the runs across the bottom of the foot from the toes to the heel, when that happened, all of a sudden, I became aware of my feet.  Every step I took reminded me that they were there.  The pain was enough to drive me to tears.  

My Podiatrist/Chiropodist, made me some inserts to put into my shoes, to make it easier for my feet to walk, run and play again.  He also pointed out that I have not been taking care of my feet the way I should have been.  

My feet had very hard calluses that would crack and become uncomfortable.  He suggested to me that I should regularly soak my feet in warm soapy water(no longer than 10 minutes), scrub them well with a pumice  stone and then dry them off completely (especially between the toes) and at night, lather the heels with lotion high in Lanolin  or shea butter.   Do NOT lotion between the toes.....If you are using a very greasy cream, put on a pair of cotton socks at night,  make sure they are loose and don't bind at your ankle.

Through the day wear comfortable shoes that fit well. For me, I added my inserts into my shoes for better walking ability.  At my age(60+), flip flops are NOT recommended foot attire.  Oh if you are just sitting in the garden, bare feet and flip flops are okay, but not if you are planning a walk, hike or any kind of other "work" for your feet(like digging in the garden).

Athletes' Foot Fungus

If you have athletes' foot fungus, make sure that you are taking care of it.  There are many products that are natural that will help to keep this fungus under control.  The feet have hundreds of sweat glands and because they can excrete up to 1/2 cup of water a day, the feet become the perfect place for fungus to grow.  You may notice itching between your toes, or flaky skin under your feet, dry itchy patches along the sides or on top of your toes, these are all signs of Athletes' Foot.  There are many homeopathic remedies for this including Tea Tree Oil products, Vicks-vapor Rub, mint sprays and more.  Talk to your doctor or experiment with what works best for you.  Foot fungus will not cause damage if left untreated, but it is uncomfortable, and with a little extra work on your part, your feet can be fungus free.

Toe Nail Fungus

Toe nail fungus is also a problem for many people.  The nails of the feet become yellowed and thickened.  They may become deformed as the fungus under the nails grows.  Nails will become brittle and hard to cut.  If you suffer from toe nail fungus, it's best to see a doctor and follow his instructions.  Prescriptions for treating toe nail fungus are available, but they take a long time to do the job, in part because the toe nails don't grow that fast.  These drugs are also hard on other body parts, ask your doctor.  There are homeopathic remedies for toe nail fungus as well. One of the most important parts is keeping the whole foot clean and well maintained so that the chances of getting toe nail fungus are reduced.  Tea Tree Oil again with it's antibacterial properties is recommended many times for toe nail fungus.

Good Foot Care is mandatory for Good Foot Health.  

Once you get into the routine of taking care of your feet, you may find that you actually enjoy the relaxing nature of this exercise.  Sitting and relaxing with your feet in a tub of nice warm soapy water, while watching your favorite sports or reality show, can be a nice way to unwind.  Have all the tools you need together and enjoy the relaxing heat and whirlpool effects of a nice foot bath.  After 10-15 minutes, gently scrub with a pumice stone to loosen dead or callused skin! Then a quick rinse off and a warm towel to dry your feet (don't forget between the toes), and then some lotion for those heels and tops of your feet.  Nice cotton socks and then just relax and enjoy.  Total time required for good foot care 30 minutes (or more, if you really enjoy a foot massage).  

Feet if well taken care of, will keep you moving through the day, without too much trouble.

If you are Diabetic you must be extra careful with your foot care regime.  If you are under a doctors care, they could recommend a foot clinic for you to keep on top of any issues that may arise.  Because Diabetes can affect your circulation, the feet and hands can become much more prone to difficulties and with that, much harder to treat.  If you are diabetic please be under a doctors care, but especially for your feet because small issues can become very large issues for the diabetic with foot problems.

Please note:  This is meant as general information and not medical advice.  If you are having problems with your feet in any way, see your doctor.  He/She will give you advice for your particular problems.


Just for fun: Feet are also a method of measurement!

Did you know:
The tallest man with undisputed credentials is  Robert Pershing Wadlow, (born 6:30 a.m. at Alton, Illinois, USA on 22 February 1918), who when last measured on 27 June 1940, was found to be 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) tall, and wore a size 27 shoe.*   Can you just imagine having Feet Problems with these feet?  

* This bit of information was found in the 60th anniversary edition of Guinness' Book of Records.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Soft Foods: Refried Beans

Refried Beans Public Domain Image From Wikimedia Commons
This week I will begin reviewing soft foods that can be prepared and eaten while going through the process of getting dentures. Before you receive your denture you will have your teeth removed and the gums are quite tender. Your dentist will recommend that you eat only soft foods for a while. Trust me, you will have no problem complying with his or her recommendation! Your gums are so tender at that point, you will not want to even think about having to chew food of any kind. The dilemma becomes what foods can you eat that are soft enough, yet nutritious enough for you to eat.

The first few days of my denture journey about all I could consume was ice cream and milkshakes. The cold felt really good on my swollen and tender gums. I knew that I could not remain on a strictly dairy diet and began to look at foods that would be easy to eat. Foods that were soft enough that they could be mashed or processed in my blender. I knew that it would be important to have a source of protein and fiber so my mind immediately went to beans. Refried beans became a staple in my diet for the first 2 1/2 months of my journey towards getting my new teeth.

Refried Beans Recipe 


1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 16 oz can pinto beans
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt & pepper


Drain the beans in a strainer and rinse thoroughly, set aside. In sauce pan, heat olive oil. Saute the garlic and onion in the heated oil. Add chili powder and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Add beans and cook for 5 minutes until beans are soft. Use a potato masher to mash the beans until the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

A very easy and quick recipe for a soft food that you can add to your diet when soft foods are required. I would sometimes add a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese for extra flavor.

Of course, refried beans can be used in any diet as a substitute for meat. Pinto beans are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.

Join me next week for another suggestion and recipe for soft foods.