Tuesday, January 31, 2017

An Opinion of Fear

Created and photographed by Laura Moody

I saw the DVD of  After Earth, a film that the actor Will Smith stars in. Was incredibly pleased to hear his character's monologue utter these words to his son:

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”

Note: This quote above was featured on the web site GoodReads.com



Friday, January 27, 2017

Driving Techniques

Mill Creek Greenway: Lenox Section, Nashville, TN.
Photo by Laura Moody.

How well people drive is as varied as the flowers around the stop sign featured above. 

Alas, in most cases folks are not paying full attention to the task of driving itself. Distraction is real. 

Drivers' attention spans are tempted and diverted by technology in the car with them (radio, CD player, GPS, cell phone) or other passengers in the car or people or scenes outside the vehicle. 

Top that with some drivers believing that they have a right to tailgate other cars, merge into lanes too close to the car nearby, run red lights at intersections and drink alcohol before driving or while operating a vehicle and you've got one stressful environment on the road. 

While there is no perfect person who will ever drive on our roads and highways, there should be more earnest desire by vehicle operators to respect other drivers. 

Noone ought to be speeding. 

Noone ought to be ignoring the lines painted on the roads. 

Drivers should pay attention to the road signs and certainly use their lights to alert others when changing lanes, driving at night and when having an emergency.

Driving skills on the road are so important for the obvious reason - so that noone will have a car accident and potentially harm personal property or human life and limb.

Be safe on route so that when you stop you'll ultimately be able to enjoy your destination!

Click here to view more driving tips!

Also - have you considered downloading an app to your phone that will encourage safe driving? Here is one to consider: SafeDrive. The idea is to earn points for good driving behavior and then spend them in their marketplace. Google Play features other app options.

Peace to you. :)


Monday, January 9, 2017

Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal Cookies

These are my first creations of the year! :)

Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal Cookies

No egg needed. :) Use organic ingredients when possible.
In this recipe my salted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, old fashioned oats and chocolate chips were all in packages that had the USDA organic label on them.

Required -
Large mixing bowl
Medium size mixing bowl
Large spoon
Butter knife
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Electric hand mixer
Cookie sheet
Storage containers

1 1/4 cup salted butter (2 and a half sticks) - softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
10 ounces pumpkin butter (I purchase mine from Trader Joe's grocery - sadly this item is only available for purchase between Sept. and January as it is a seasonal item - so stock up if you are interested in experimenting; pumpkin butter is a wonderful substitute for egg in baking recipes; tastes great in this cookie as well as pancake batter!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I purchase mine from Trader Joe's grocery)
3 cups rolled oats (quick, old fashioned, uncooked)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Place the salted butter and the sugars in the large bowl.
3. With a hand mixer, beat the salted butter and sugars until light and fluffy (Some of the batter may a-fix itself to the beaters; use the butter knife to pry the batter away and back into the bowl)
4. Beat in pumpkin butter and vanilla
5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spice. Stir with a fork.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat well.
7. With a large spoon, stir in oats and chocolate chips.
8. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
(The butter knife could be used to push the batter off the spoon onto the sheet.)
9. Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie or bake 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie
10. Cool one minute before removing cookies from tray. Then place on wire rack.
( Alternatively, I placed my first cookie batch on a glass plate. When the second batch was done and cooling, I then moved the first batch to a Pyrex container with accompanying lid. I repeated this process until my Pyrex containers were full.)
11. Do store your cookies in a tightly covered container.
12. Enjoy! p.s. Links above are to articles about the Trader Joe's products used in the recipe. Read for more ideas on how to use them in baking and cooking.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Days to Spring!

Garden Iris and My Feet, Nashville, TN by Laura Moody

Click here to view the number of days 'til Spring 2017 begins. 
Are you already planning your garden? :)