The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life

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A Day of Firsts

Yesterday was quite remarkable for me.

It wasn’t the first day the Twin Cities ever got to 44 degrees on a March day.  However, since we’ve had a very long, brutally cold, and snowiest winter, 44 degrees seems wonderfully remarkable!  🙂  And, we had a sunny day to boot!

The other first had to do with my culinary skills.  Except for a very few dishes, I always follow a recipe.  Yesterday, however, I threw all caution to the wind!  I made Sarah’s Tuscan Soup (in the March issue of Stanton Sunshine magazine – see and followed the directions exactly – which was to use your own discretion for the amounts of each ingredient.  So how did my experiment turn out?

First, I should give you a little background on my husband’s tastes.  He adds spices and more pepper to almost everything I make — right at the table.  You should know that in this experiment, he did not.  And it was spicy enough for him!  Which means, since I got a little carried away with the red pepper flakes and fresh garlic I threw in, I needed to drink lots of milk to calm down the fire in my mouth.  So….the recipe done Mrs. Stanton’s way, received thumbs up AND thumbs down.

I must say that I think this soup is a nice balance of protein, starch, and lots of healthy vegetables.  Try it!   🙂

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Are you Irish?  Do you enjoy Irish food?  If you answered “yes” to either or both questions, then is looking for you!  6990534505_be6f4c015c_o

The Recipes section of the magazine is going to have a special Irish recipe section for the month of March.  Whether you have a blog or not, whether you cook a favorite Irish recipe yourself or have one that’s excellent that’s been passed down through the ages in your family, Debb is hoping you will send it to her.  Please state where your recipe came from (your Aunt Eileen, your mother, your Uncle Sean?).

I’m hoping to get SWAMPED with your replies.  Let’s make this recipe section B I G !  In fact, it’s not too early to send me a recipe today.  (Use the submission form in the magazine or write to  Thanks!




A Word From the Magazine

Stanton Sunshine Magazine

Stanton Sunshine Magazine


I’m feeling better now and getting excited about February’s issue.  But I need you…I’m throwing out an “SOS” here:  looking for photos, artwork, stories, poems, or recipes.  In fact, Claire (the Ask Claire lady) is wondering why her mailbox hasn’t seen much action…do you have a general question she could answer for you?  🙂

I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, but it’s worth repeating:  don’t be shy.  Do not be so critical of your work or talent that you keep it to yourself.  I’ve been told that it’s worth it to publish a post, even if it would help just one person who needs to see or feel the message you are conveying.  Just think… if the reaching just one person happens from a lot of contributors, the more people we can reach…and love…and help…and bring sunshine to.

SEE http://www.stantonsunshine/submissionguidelines for ideas.  And, my email box is always glad to fill up.  ( 🙂

In the community spirit,




Stanton Sunshine

Howdy!  There are many things I could write about Stanton Sunshine – why I’m launching it on January 4th; what it is; my Stanton Sunshine page on Facebook; and what you can look forward to.  I will discuss the last three options today.

Stanton Sunshine is an online magazine that posts new material monthly, focusing on a positive, joy-filled lifestyle with the help of an online community (you).  I will be publishing art from both children and adults, writing pieces from both children and adults, and many other features.

Thanks to those of you who have already “liked” the Stanton Sunshine Facebook page.  I would love to have all of you get over to that page: (Debb Stanton) and click on   Perhaps you could click on “Share” and help me get the word out.  🙂

So what can you look forward to?  A family-friendly community of friends who build each other up, a place of encouragement and caring, and sometimes even a place of laughter.  If you are interested in sharing your writing (or artwork or photography) in a medium other than your own blog, we at Stanton Sunshine think this magazine is your ticket!  Stay tuned to The Sunshine Factor and Stanton Sunshine page for updates later on.  (If you are a person who likes visuals, I have a countdown going on in the right sidebar relating to the launch date, January 4.)

Keep on soaking up that sunshine!  🙂





The Conclusion of the series, “The Adventures of Debb’s Blog…”

Ahhh.  The Great Launch.  It’s coming soon on January 4th!   I’m still keeping The Sunshine Factor blog, but it will published within an online magazine, called Stanton Sunshine.  This is where my writing trail has brought me, and it feels like a very nice place!

How will this be different than a blog, you might be asking.  This one will be a community effort of like-minded individuals willing to share their particular kind of sunshine to make up one big place where everyone can participate.   But why participate?  To give and receive emotional support in a world that seems to be getting darker by the day.   You can be published here if you want to be! You can submit artwork, or that of your children or grandchildren.  Like a great recipe?  Please share with the author of the magazine, me, and I will look into getting it out to the community.  Prefer to just read and enjoy?  That’s great, too, but hopefully we can each get the word out to our friends about Stanton Sunshine.

I’ve always believed that to be a museum curator would be an awesome job.  I could decide what would be displayed and what wouldn’t.  I could gather friends together for a good time while enjoying art (and in this case — art AND literature). I would be hot on the trail, and new finds would pepper my museum.  So actually, I can be a curator after all – just in magazine format.  And in a community format, where all people are loved and welcome and can find a positive spin on their lives.

Together we can be strong — that is my motto.  This is how we will begin the new year.  (Start now by signing up for my new Facebook page:  I will keep you abreast of the latest developments and trailmarkers on this Facebook page as well as on this blog.)

More soon!


The Adventure of Debb’s Blog and Her New Trail: Part Five

In taking a hard look at my blog, I enjoyed having a mixture of posts – recipes, poems, stories, articles…but I wanted more.  I wanted artwork from children and adults filling up the blog, along with guest poems and articles.  I wanted to have (and give my readers) it all!  So the next question was:  so where can I get all this additional writing?  The answer came to me when I defined what my blog is.

I call this blog and its readership a community of people with the same goal and focus:  finding the sunshine in your life in spite of sometimes negative circumstances.  Hmmm….a community thrives on its citizens all contributing in their own special way.  Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  Our Sunshine community could do that – offer up their own kinds of sunshine to the community.  We could be enriching each other’s lives!  The extra photos, art, book reviews, stories, poems, articles would fit into that niche in a grand fashion!

If I could write for my blog two weeks out of the month, and write my various projects in the other two weeks, how fantastic would that be?!  I had been having a conflict within myself about writing the blog so much I was neglecting the other part of my writing life.  Here, my friends, was my answer.  If I created a new website with a lot to read, enough to keep people busy for a month, I could do all my writing!  AND get my friends involved in a great project, too!  🙂

Next up:  Where Debb’s trail ends up and announcement of The Great Launch – coming soon to a computer near you!


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The Adventure of Debb’s Blog and Her New Trail: Part Two

nature often inspired Debb to write

nature often inspired Debb to write

Want to know how Debb decided what posts would be in her blog?  She explains it below.

I promised God that I would post something every day, since He had inspired me to write a blog.  Amazingly, I was able to accomplish this.  (I try not to make promises lightly, since I am a woman of my word; but this promise to God – well, I thought that maybe I was promising in the heat of excitement and realization, and maybe I wouldn’t carry it out.)

In September I noticed that my early morning walks often yielded an idea for a post (or many posts).  I drafted the post or posts in my head while walking and enjoying nature.  (Oftentimes, the posts did talk about the nature I’d seen.)  I’d come home from work and rush to the computer so I could capture my thoughts.

The more I wrote, the more lively my imagination became.  I no longer cared what my audience would think.  Whatever grabbed my attention is what would show up in my blog.  I laughed at myself within posts (for instance, when I had bragged to my boss I was a good cook, and when he came to dinner, the dinner bombed – haha) and put myself out there as someone who makes mistakes – plenty of them at times!

Next up:  what forms of writing did Debb employ?  See you next week!

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Debbie’s Kitchen: Almond Chicken

Another habit I’m forging this month is the idea of cooking meals on the weekends to provide our freezer with lunches to take to work, or to have a supper ready to zap in the microwave when time for supper is limited.  I won’t be depending on the convenience store at work for my lunches anymore (hence saving money), I will be eating healthier with good home cooking, and my liking to try new recipes has just hit its jackpot.  🙂

Hopefully I will post at least one new recipe a week.  Ideally, I will also add my comments about the recipe at the bottom.


Week 1…

“Almond Chicken”
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1 t. celery salt

1 t. paprika

1 t. salt

1/2 t. curry powder

1/2 t. pepper

6 T. melted butter

1-1/2 c. half and half

3/4 c. sliced almonds

1/2 c. sour cream or plain yogurt

— Coat chicken pieces with flour.  Blend seasonings with butter and coat chicken in seasoned butter.  Arrange in single layer in lightly-greased 9 x 13″ baking pan.  Sprinkle with almonds and pour half and half over chicken.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Uncover and spoon about 1/2 c. sauce from pan, and blend into sour cream or yogurt.  Pour evenly over chicken.  Bake uncovered for about 15  minutes or until done.  Serves 6.

Comments from the cook:  *I thought I had curry powder and black pepper in the kitchen, but alas I did not.  In place of those two seasonings, I simply used 1/2 t. cayenne pepper.   This gave the dish a slight kick, but I still liked the taste.  *I found that putting in a whole small bag of sliced almonds from the store yielded only about 1/2 cup.  *I used plain yogurt for this recipe.  * I used an oblong casserole dish rather than a standard 13 x 9″ cake pan.  This meant the chicken was in two layers in the dish, but the chicken breasts each cooked evenly.




Remember “Mrs. Loaf”? Her Husband Was Asked To Write This Post :)

Hello everybody – Mrs. Loaf here (alias Loving Loaf).   Today Dave and I stirred up another meatloaf, but we created our own recipe as we went.  I’ll let Dave tell you about it:

I insisted on a homemade recipe to expand the horizons of Mrs. Loaf.  🙂    We both feel we need less MSG and less preservatives that so many soup mixes have.  We thus endeavored to keep the basic recipe of fresh meat, ketchup, oatmeal/breadcrumbs and two eggs, but no commercial mixes or flavorings.  We proceeded thusly:

2 lbs. fresh ground beef

1/3 cup ketchup (low sodium, no corn syrup type)

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon Lawry seasoning salt – with no MSG added

2 teaspoons Lawry seasoned pepper

1 teaspoon of “natural” seasoning mix we got at the State Fair

1/2 teaspoon of “natural” seasoning mix for beef we got at the State Fair

2 cloves garlic (Debb used cut up garlic that you can find in the grocery store sold in small glass jars; equivalent is 1/2 teaspoon for 1 clove garlic)

Enough uncooked, old fashioned oatmeal to cover the top of the mixture

350 degrees for 45

It’s nice to be asked to write this today.  🙂  It’s nice to share my Mrs. Loaf with you, because I know she loves you all and WordPress.  (Some days it seems I only have half a loaf, but it’s worth it!  haha)

From the hearth of our Safe Haven (what Debb named this house years ago), we baked our loving loaf and wish you well!

— Dave

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Surprise Recipe!

Lima Beans

Lima Beans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi folks,

Hope you don’t mind another recipe…the vegetables I tried for our Sunday dinner last weekend were – actually excellent!  And made with lima beans, yet!   I frankly could not taste the lima beans, but a pleasant celery flavor was present.  AND, mushrooms, onions and pimentos were included too; usually I don’t eat mushrooms, but I was pleasantly surprised.  We had this dish with Dave’s favorite meat loaf recipe (the one I’ve shared with you earlier) and mashed potatoes.


2 small onions, thinly sliced

3-10 oz pkg frozen baby lima beans, thawed (or in my case, I used 2-16 oz bags)

2 cans cream of celery soup

2-4 oz cans  sliced mushrooms (undrained)

1-2 oz jar pimentos, chopped and drained (I did not chop them, they are small enough, in my estimation)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dill weed

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 t pepper (I did not add this so close on the heels of Hoppin’ John)

For crockpot:

Combine all ingredients except heavy cream and Parmesan cheese in crockpot; stir well.  Cover and cook on low setting for 10-12 hours.  Just before serving, add cream and stir well; sprinkle Parmsean cheese on top.

For casserole:

Assemble ingredients in casserole and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Notes from the cook:

*  I baked the ingredients in a casserole.

*  The recipe wasn’t clear if you’re supposed to add the cream and Parmesan cheese to the dish right before serving, or if you combine EVERYTHING together before baking.   Dave didn’t want the cream and cheese thrown in there, so we didn’t include it in baking AND we didn’t add it to the finished product either.  We found that the dish was very tasty as is.

*   I think this was too salty, so next time I think I would have at least one of the cans of soup as being of the lower salt variety, and I might decrease the salt to 1 tsp.

*  This would be a good dish to serve at Christmas, as the green and red colors are both represented.

*   I am now a fan of lima beans.  Good for my vegetable intake!

*  Anyone care to cook this in a crockpot and report back?


“Mrs. Loaf”



Recipe: “Frieda Punch”

Orange juice

Orange juice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whenever I think of a good beverage to drink, I always think of my Aunt Frieda’s punch.  It was sweet with a little bit of a tang, made with fruit juices and ginger ale.  The best thing about it is, you can improvise on this recipe, and I don’t think it could ever be ruined.  It’s so simple it’s easy to memorize the recipe.  🙂

I haven’t had my breakfast yet today, but I’m planning on making Frieda’s punch this morning and having it with breakfast.  🙂  Maybe it should become a new tradition in the Stanton household.

Aunt Frieda’s Punch:

1 large can pineapple juice

1 large can apricot (or peach) nectar

1 large can orange juice

lesser quantity of ginger ale

For a party, a big bowl or kettle for serving it in is great.  For a smaller quantity, such as what would fit into a pitcher, just cut the quantity of each ingredient.

I would not advise ice be poured into the punch bowl or pitcher, since dilution can occur.  Rather, keep a supply of ice on hand for your guests so that they can put whatever quantity of ice they want into their own glass.

Vernor’s ginger ale, from Michigan, is in my opinion the best brand by far.  However, it’s not always available in Minnesota, so the other ginger ale brands step up to the plate.

I have used this recipe for our parties and open houses, and I seem to recall it was served at my graduation open house.  (If you’re looking for a red punch to serve on a holiday, this is not the one!)

Here’s drinking healthfully to a great new year!




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2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

I want to thank you readers for all your comments, especially my good buddies who “chatted” back and forth with me frequently.   🙂  I’ve only been on WordPress since middle of August of this year, but it’s been a very good time.  WordPress is one of the factors of 2012 being my best year ever!  🙂  Looking forward to more fun in the new year,  I remain your friend and cohort,




recipe: Hopping John (black-eyed peas)

English: Ham hock and black-eyed peas

English: Ham hock and black-eyed peas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve learned last year that black-eyed peas are a Southern dish  associated with good luck.  I give you this recipe from The Joy of Cooking cookbook.


Bring to a boil in a large covered saucepan:

1-1/4 cups dry black-eyed peas

4 cups water

After boiling 2 minutes, remove pan from heat and let stand 1 hour.  Add:

1-1/2 cups chopped onions

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper

1 minced clove garlic

1 bay leaf

After bringing to a boil, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Stir in:

8 oz coarsely chopped salt pork

Simmer another hour, uncovered, stirring frequently.  Remove the salt pork and the bay leaf.  Slightly mash the pea mixture.

Season to taste.

Serve with boiled rice.  (I think I will be using the Hopping John as the starch of the meal and serving it with pork chops and vegetables.)

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How to take full advantage of Sunshine Factor

Whoah, now that’s different! Encouraging someone to take advantage of another? Well, in this case, it’s about using this blog to your best advantage.

Those of you who read Sunshine Factor in Reader on WordPress, or read me on your email notifications, don’t get to see that there are several tabs for this blog.

I have recently added a new page (tab) to Sunshine that you can click on to read about to follow my recovery walk (recovery as in recovering from (getting over) unhealthy lifestyle habits or old tapes that play in my head, and also recovery from cancer and leading a healthier life).

Poetry Castle Gift Shop is a place where you can order a story or poem to be written for a special person or occasion in your life, the author being myself.

All of the tabs are for different purposes, and when you feel like reading something specific, or follow what I am doing in my recovery, they’re there at your disposal.

How to see all the tabs?

Sunshine Factor’s web address is  Put Sunshine Factor on your desktop as a shortcut, that way you can just click on that and there I am.  (On a PC, once you’re on the site, right click and create shortcut.  Are there any Mac users that could tell us how to put a shortcut on your desktop?)

From reading Sunshine Factor, you might have guessed that I like to use metaphors – words that say something is like something else – so here’s another way I can describe my blog:  Sunshine Factor is like a home in a neighborhood, and in this home I talk (post) every day about something of interest.   The other tabs on Sunshine are like my favorite neighbors in the neighborhood that I like to visit and chat with.

When I post something in one of the tabs, I will not notify you.    I will continue to post on the home page daily, and the tabs are for you to open at will.

Please help me get the word out about the improved Sunshine Factor – and if you’re another blogger, could you be so kind as to reblog this and tell your friends who might benefit from this site?  Thanks ever so much!cropped-795040-r1-026-11a_011.jpg


Christmas Time Recipes

Meatballs in tomato sauce

Meatballs in tomato sauce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friend Jim gave me some “rosemary walnuts” that he made recently.  They were so GOOD; I normally don’t enjoy walnuts, but these didn’t taste like walnuts.  I also think sometimes rosemary is a little too strong for my tastes, but in this case, the rosemary seemed more mellow.   I think these would be good set out in a bowl for guests, now that the holiday season is upon us.

Here’s the recipe:
Thinking of the holidays reminds me of the open houses Dave and I used to put on for Christmas.  His favorite dish was our “New Year’s Eve Meatballs”, so called because a lady my mom knew served these every year at her New Year’s Eve party.  They were a hit with my guests, as well.
2 or 3 lb. ground beef
14 oz bottle ketchup
8 oz jar currant jelly (in a pinch, grape jelly will do)*
3 eggs (large is better, especially if you use more beef)
2 envelopes (1 box) onion soup mix
few bread crumbs (from bread slices or commercially prepared bread crumbs)
Mix together ground beef, eggs, onion soup mix and bread crumbs.  Heat together ketchup, pizza sauce and currant jelly*.  Make small walnut-size balls and place on a broiler pan.  Bake 15 minutes at 450.  Add meatballs to sauce and put in a crockpot at 250 or Low for 4 hours.
Let me know if, after making these, you can find a purpose for the leftover sauce in the bottom of the crockpot when the meatballs are devoured.  (and they will be)  All I could ever come up with was heating the sauce and using it as a sort of gravy for potatoes, but there must be a better idea…?
*Currant jelly – why this flavor?  Because these meatballs have a sweet-sour flavor.  The ketchup and pizza sauce contribute the sweetness…


I Have a Confession to Make

I must say, I take vegetables for granted.

I see that they’re colorful (and thus meaning they pack a lot of different vitamins within the vegetable family), easy to cook, and even taste good.   I know that they’re good for my health, especially as a cancer survivor.

So why do I not eat more of them?

Because I figured since I had had good chemotherapy for my cancer and even had some preventative treatment, I didn’t have to “overdose” on getting my vitamins in.   I also figured that the “natural” multivitamins I took would do the trick…  free_139512

But alas, it’s very rarely that I remember to take my vitamins in the morning; Zero times have I taken them with supper as directed on the box.  So, THE JIG IS UP for Dear Ol’ Debb.  Now I am asking encouragement from you!

Oh yeah – since I am a visual person, you would think that all my beautiful, full color, WONDERFUL cookbooks would entice me.  Yes – they entice me to “make plans to eat more vegetables” and they even make my mouth water – but alas, that is where the good vibes end.

I’ve always had it as a goal (as yet unreached) to try one new recipe a week.   That didn’t work.  Then I changed the goal to once a month – but that didn’t help either.  When I bought some Williams-Sonoma cookbooks, I thought that would convince me to practice being a gourmet cook.  It didn’t happen!  I’m glad Dave thinks I’m a good cook, but I’d like to improve.   I do have to remember, however, that I’ve been very busy.  I can’t get down on myself for this.

So – since vegetables (and also, their fiber) are so very important for my health, please comment with any suggestions or hints you may have for me.  How did you come to the place where you naturally grab for a vegetable when you are hungry?

Waiting to hear from you, I remain

The Friendly Vegetable Lady.

(using a positive thinking approach here!)

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Mrs. Loaf’s Recipe

Raw Ground beef

Raw Ground beef (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dave calls me “Mrs. Loaf.”  It is not because I wear loafer shoes, and I am not a lazy person, and I do not resemble a loaf of bread.  He calls me this because he LOVES my meatloaf.   Blecch, meatloaf, you might say.  But this recipe is tasty.   Dave wants me to share my recipe with you, and since he is my staunch supporter of Sunshine Factor but never has offered suggestions until now, I thought I would do what he advised.The recipe is on the box of Lipton Recipe Secrets’ Beefy Onion recipe soup and dip mix.  Wylers also has a good onion soup mix, too, with its own recipe on the box.  I am printing Lipton’s recipe so you can add it to your on-line recipes and in case you wind up with the wrong kind of onion soup mix – for instance, Lipton’s Golden Onion recipe soup mix does not contain this meatloaf recipe.

“Souperior Meat Loaf”

1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Beefy Onion Soup Mix

2 lbs. ground beef

3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs (or dry oatmeal is what I like to use)

2 eggs

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup ketchup

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all ingredients.

2.  In 13 x 9-inch baking or roasting pan (I even use a souffle dish or other dishes), shape into loaf.

3.  Bake 1 hour or until done.  Let stand 1o minutes before serving.

8 servings, prep time:  10 minutes; cook time:  1 hour

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Dear Friends, Followers, and Visitors of


I’ve decided to put all my writing about cancer exclusively on – unless there is some exquisite writing that poem lovers on Sunshine Factor would enjoy.

Effective immediately, you can search for key words over at Cancer Chat Room for all things pertaining to cancer.  I have had requests for very specific cancer poems (geared toward a certain family member or patient in various stages of recovery), so I want Cancer Chat Room to be your “go-to place” for all things related to that.

Meanwhile, I hope my friends and followers from either WordPress blog will mosey on over to visit its sister blog.  (It wouldn’t be harmful to me if you were a follower on both sites – grin).

Requests or questions for either blog can be sent to the same email address:


(Note in subject line which blog you want something posted in.)  Please don’t be afraid you’ll “bother” me, I hope you will ply me with many, many suggestions or questions or comments – I don’t bite anymore, haha.

Thank you again for letting me enter into your personal world, and I am as always very fortunate to have such a great group of friends here on WordPress.





Reality Blog Award

Thank you to mypenandme at: nominating me for this blog award.  I am very moved and appreciative of receiving this award.

To my nominees:  You can decide how you would like to participate.  Please take into consideration that  there are no rules for this award, so you can follow this pattern, create another with your own questions, or simply just accept the award and nominate a few other blogs that you like.  Mypenandme passed on five questions and because I liked them all, I chose to answer all of them.

My nominees are:

Likely many of these nominees do not accept awards, but that’s okay—this award lets them know that I have enjoyed their blogs and would like to recommend them to others.

Questions and Answers:

1) If you could change something what would you change?

I would somehow do away with all selfishness and replace it with compassion.  That would go a long way toward improving our lives and this world we live in.

2) If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

Age 10.  My fifth grade year was the best year of my life.  However, to get back to my current age I would want to just get back here and not live through all the years after age 10 again.   🙂

3) What one thing really scares you?

Standing in the lake or ocean and being in water over my head.  I know how to swim, yet I think with two near-drownings in my past, I admit I get a little anxious.  I still love being in the water, and looking at it gives me peace.

4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it.

To have a publisher say to me, “We would like to buy your manuscript.”  I know I will be able to complete it at least once, and hopefully many more times.

5)  If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

I can honestly say, I’ve finally arrived at the place where I am glad to be me and just me.


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Two At a Time Is Just Fine

English: Greensett Tarn Hmmm. Reminds me of a ...

English: Greensett Tarn Hmmm. Reminds me of a very well known antipodean country from here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was talking to some wise friends the other day, and I suddenly discovered how I could stop spinning my wheels.

How do I spin my wheels?  I get so enthusiastic about life, and I’m curious about so many things, that I seem to want to try everything new or different – all at once!  Not a very practical way to go, I admit.  It turns out that I get a few things done or tried and the rest are running around in my mind, waiting for me to get “organized” so I can do everything!

Hmmm, case in point of a perfectionistic mindset.  I have become less of a black-and-white thinker in the past couple years, but I still tread the path of striving to knock perfectionism out of my life.  I’m learning that “good is good enough” and “you are where you are, so start there.”  Superwoman I am not, and I no longer try to be.  Yet, (and this is because of my cancer experience) I am so afraid that I won’t achieve my goals and dreams before my life is over, that I want to do everything now.  (My cancer, incidentally, is 100% gone, and my life expectancy is as long as it was pre-cancer.  So, I’m guessing this is just another perfectionism thing rearing its ugly head.)

AND NOW – this is what I learned from my friends, and I am on Day One of living this way:

  1. Choose the one or two most important habits or goals you want to work on.  Only one or two!  You will have time for the rest!
  2. Keep on doing whatever else in your life works for you, and also concentrate on these new habits.  (Being consistent with a small amount is better than floundering at many.)
  3. After three weeks (the average time it takes for a new habit to be more ingrained), choose one or two more habits while keeping on with the new habit you’ve already adopted into your life.
  4. In three more weeks, choose another habit…

I’m wondering if a person keeps on adding new habits, when will they run out of time each day to incorporate all of them?  I’ll let you know when I find out, as my list of possibilities is very long!  Be sure to comment here if you can inform us on the subject.  Maybe some of the habits can be brought down a notch to “every other day” or “once a week” to make room and time for the new ones…that seems un-perfectionistic to me.  🙂

Apple Streusel Ladder Loaf

(from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book – this recipe is labeled “Easy”)

Use tart apples like Jonathans, Granny Smiths, or Winesaps for this blue-ribbon bread.

1-16 oz loaf frozen sweet bread dough or frozen bread dough, thawed

2 T margarine or butter, softened

1/4 c packed brown sugar

1 T all-purpose flour

1 t ground cinnamon

2 c finely chopped, peeled apples


2 T all-purpose flour

2 T sugar

1 T margarine or butter

1/4 c slivered almonds (optional)

Oven:  350 degrees; t – teaspoon and T – Tablespoon.

Divide bread dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into an 8-inch square.  (For easier rolling, let dough rest a few minutes.)  Spread each square with 1 tablespoon softened margarine or butter.  For filling, combine brown sugar, the 1 tablespoon flour, and the cinnamon.  Add apples; toss to coat.

Spoon half of the filling down the center of each square.  Cutting from the right edge toward the filling, make 2-1/2 inch-long cuts in dough at 1-inch intervals.  Repeat from the left edge.  Fold strips alternately over filling; fold under ends.

Place loaves on a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.  Brush with milk.  Combine the 2 T flour and the sugar.  Cut in the 1 T margarine till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture over each loaf.  Top with almonds, if desired.  Cover and let loaves rise till nearly double (45 to 60 minutes).

Bake in a 350 degree oven 30 minutes or till golden.  Serve warm.  Makes 2 loaves (32 servings).

Note from Debb:  I typed this right from the cookbook, so I hope there’s no typos!  🙂





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New “About Me” Page

a great variety of colors


I deleted the “Welcome to this Blog” and replaced it with “About Me and My Blog”.  I think this new “About” encompasses more topics and themes that I address.  I’m also trying to be more user-friendly!  🙂

Keep smiling!   🙂



About Me and My Blog

Hi, I’m Debbie Loesel Stanton.   My friends call me Debb…

I am a:  writer, small-time philosopher, small-time get out of debt and  stay that way advisor, big-time lover of  people/animals/nature/beautiful writing/beautiful poetry/beauty-period/peace/photography; a reader, cancer survivor, comforting and encouraging friend, bringer of sunshine to the soul and spirit, and appreciator of life.

I am for:  peace, love, joy, and other such blessings; fairness, equality, and respect.

I am against:  hatred, violence, abortion, abuse of people and animals, wasting the earth’s natural resources, and judging one another.

My political stance:   I believe we each need to study the arguments and vote according to what our conscience states, and not what side we think we are supposed to be on.  Suffice it to say, just make sure you get out and vote.

What my blog is for and about:  a smile for your day, loving thoughts and encouragement, sometimes whimsy,  sometimes a recipe or two, a movie review here and there, and always a love of life that I hope to pass on to others.  I’ve been writing a lot of poems since being on this blog but I also write in other forms.   I post daily because there is so much we can talk about. . . I welcome your comments.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure we call life. 


Two Germans & One American (Potato Salad Recipes)


Recipes (Photo credit: pirate johnny)

Greetings!  From the looks of my search stats, a German Potato Salad recipe is very much in demand, so I give to you my mother’s.  I  also found two more recipes in one of my many church cookbooks (they have the best recipes, don’t they?!).

Disclaimer:  I’ve only tried my mom’s recipe – and we all know how that turned out!  But hers really WAS excellent.  It can be eaten warm or cold.  As for the other two recipes, I can’t promise you will like them, but they’re here for the trying.

Note that T stands for Tablespoon and t stands for teaspoon.

Please note:  I was a good cook and baker in my day but have not been doing much of that in the last couple years since getting over cancer.  However, I still have many, many good cookbooks  of all types, and many comments written in the margins about how I liked the recipes and what I would do differently next time…I’d like to put them to good use again.    If you are looking for a certain recipe, I’ll see if I can find a good one for you; just let me know.

8 boiled white potatoes (2-1/2 lb)

5 slices bacon

1 T flour

1/2 c vinegar

1/2 c water

celery, sweet peppers and pimentos (quantities not given:  I would guess 1 stalk celery, one green pepper and half to one small jar pimentos).

1-1/4 t salt (make sure you don’t overdo.  There is salty bacon in the recipe!)

1/4 c sugar

1 onion

Cut bacon in small pieces and fry slowly.  Add flour, vinegar, water, salt and sugar in the order given and cook (slowly) until thickened.  Cube potatoes and chop the onion, celery, peppers, and pimentos (Debb’s note:  it takes forever, but the onion and peppers should be diced very fine).  Pour cooked mixture over the potato mixture.  Blend carefully until well saturated.

German Potato Salad with Eggs

German Potato Salad with eggs8 boiled potatoes, cooked in their skins2 stalks celery, diced

2 eggs, hard-boiled and sliced

1 onion, minced

1 T minced parsley

2 eggs, well beaten

6 slices bacon, diced

1 c sugar

1/2 c vinegar, diluted with 1/2 c water

1/4 t dry mustard

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

     Boil potatoes.  When cool, dice.  Add celery and onion.  Fry bacon until brown.

Beat eggs; add sugar, vinegar and water.  Mix well; add spices.  Pour egg mixture into pan that the bacon was fried in and some of the bacon fat drained.  Stir until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.  Pour sauce over potato mixture; mix lightly.  Sprinkle bacon and hard-boiled eggs on top.  Let stand in refrigerator several hours.  (Debb’s comment:  apparently this is only a cold variety, like regular American potato salad.)

Hot Potato Salad

4 eggs, boiled and diced

Enough potatoes to make 6 c, boiled and diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 lb bacon (crispy)

2 T vinegar

1 c sour cream

1 c buttermilk or condensed milk  (Debb’s comment:  I would guess it should not be the sweetened kind)

Boil 4 eggs; boil potatoes and cool.  Dice potatoes, making 6 cups.  Dice onion and mix in with potatoes; let stand to season.  Fry bacon until crispy; pour off 1/2 the fat and discard.  Add vinegar.  Take off heat and quickly add sour cream mixed with buttermilk or condensed milk.  Stir quickly and pour bacon mixture over diced potatoes.  Add diced eggs.  Heat in 325 degree oven for 1 hour.

Please let sunshinefactor know how you like these recipes.  Thanks!