The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 4, 2011

Following through with your plans

Enid News and Eagle

ENID — Do you follow through with your plans? Think about it.

I am terrible about getting behind on my thank-you notes, RSVPs, and other correspondence. Guess that is why there is such a variety of belated birthday cards to be bought. Others must have the same problem I do. My intentions are good, but my timing is not.

I was taught to complete any job I started. “When a job is first begun, you must stay until it’s done” just rings in my ears; I have heard it so many times when I was a kid. Consequently, I learned at an early age to follow through with lessons, chores, commitments, and promises. It was a good lesson to learn.

I am sure when my grandparents came on that long trek to Indian Territory, there were many circumstances and hardships that made them question whether they should turn back. But they never did. They had a dream of things being better in their future, so they stayed the course. And things did get much better for them and for their entire family for generations. They had a stick-to-it attitude that stayed with them all their lives and rubbed off on me.

I had told myself I was going to back off a little for Christmas preparations this year. I was going to start early, get finished early and have a relaxed season. But my wonderful friend gave me the Southern Living Christmas Book last week and I hardly can put it down. It is full of ideas and beautifully inspiring pictures that make me want to celebrate Christmas in a big way. I may not follow through on all the wonderful recipes and decorating plans I have, but I have had a ball dreaming about them.

Each year in early October, I make a tentative list of things to do for Christmas. It is surprising how quickly it will be here. I include things like cookie baking, Christmas cards, doing holiday shopping, entertaining more than usual, making homemade gifts, decorating inside and out, and simple things like that. This year I have added another list. Things like: Do I really like doing it? Would Christmas be Christmas if it didn’t all get done? Do I do some of the things out of habit, tradition, free choice, or obligation? Is there something I want to do differently? Wouldn’t I be just as happy if I were willing to make this the year I no longer do things “just because that is the way we have always done them?” That applies to other times also, not just the holidays.

I can have the best plans to clean a closet or garage, and my plans often get interrupted. Either it is too hot or too cold, or company comes, or the mood goes away before I have completed the tasks at hand. My wonderful, inspiring friend cleaned her closet last week. She said she pulled everything out of the closet and laid it on the bed. She knew she had to do something with those clothes and shoes and boxes before they could go to sleep that night, so she kept working until the job was done. I would probably just give up and sleep on the couch or recliner all night. She is a person who always follows through on her plans and leaves no work unfinished. See why she inspires me?

A friend gave me this wonderful diet. I found it the other day while looking for something else (my fossil books) while cleaning a closet. It is a good lesson on following through.

Dieting Under Stress

This diet is designed to help you cope with the stress that builds up during the day.

Breakfast: one half grapefruit, one slice whole wheat toast, eight ounces skim milk

Lunch: four ounces broiled chicken breast, one cup steamed spinach, one cup herbal tea, one Oreo

Mid afternoon snack: rest of Oreos in package, two pints of Rocky Road Ice Cream, one jar hot fudge sauce, nuts, cherries, whipped cream

Dinner: two loaves garlic bread with cheese, large sausage/mushroom/cheese pizza, 4 cans or one large pitcher of beer, three Milky Way candy bars

Late evening snack: entire frozen cheesecake eaten directly from freezer

In addition to the diet, she offered these rules and suggestions:

If you eat something and no one else sees you eat it, it has no calories.

If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy are canceled out.

When you eat with someone else, calories do not count unless you eat more than them.

If you fatten up everyone else around you, you look thinner.

Cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

Things licked off of knives, spoons, bowls, and pans have no calories.

Note: Foods that have the same color have the same amount of calories. Example: spinach and pistachio ice cream, mushrooms and white chocolate, etc. Also, chocolate is a universal color and may be substituted for any other food color.

This cheesecake is so easy and so good that one could almost eat the entire thing. It is an old tried-and-true recipe that is made without a spring form pan. Top with any fruit if you like, but it is wonderful just plain.

Dorothy’s Cheesecake

13 graham crackers

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound cream cheese

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Crush graham crackers. Combine with softened butter and line an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Blend softened cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Pour over graham cracker lining. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in 350-degree oven.

Topping for Cheesecake

1 pint sour cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together, pour over baked cheesecake. Return to oven and bake at 300 degrees about five minutes. Cool, wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Supposed to serve nine, but, you know ...

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.