The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


Cooking and Life

Life is like a recipe

wouldn’t you say?

The ingredients vary

from person to person

yet they all must combine

in the right way

and with the right timing


Sometimes the recipe flops

we’ve all had those moments

but then we pick ourselves up

and go on

or tweak the recipe a little

and the product or life

turns out better than before


Some people hate to cook

while other people thoroughly enjoy it

I hope we all enjoy life

and don’t think of it as a miserable burden


How will you tweak your life today?

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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.




Happy September!

English: Happy family Two cygnets and two swan...

English: Happy family Two cygnets and two swans enjoying the sun but being cautious parents. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hopefully you’ve all had a nice summer. Mine was terrific!

A lot of thoughts now, at least for parents and kids, are on back to school. I always enjoyed this time as a kid.

I am still in the learn stage of my life — learning how to have minimal stress in my life.  To that end, I am working on two goals this month.  They look small and insignificant at first glance, but if I can keep up with them, they will reduce my stress significantly.

{don’t laugh, we all have to start out somewhere}

1.  If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, don’t put dirty ones in the sink.  Just do it – empty the dishwasher – now!

2.  Write down each and every expenditure this month.  Doing so will help to make better budgeting decisions in the future.

Do you have anything you’re working on currently that you would like to share with us?

Have a great September!

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Response to Daily Prompt 7/27/13

Daily Prompt: A to Z

by michelle w. on July 27, 2013
My response:
A 1910 photograph of The Orchard in bloom

A 1910 photograph of The Orchard in bloom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Apples, cherries, apricots and peaches are what her dad grew in his orchard on a high hill. Bees made it a point to drink the nectar from the blossoming trees in spring and summer. Choirs could not attempt to capture the glory of this orchard. Dentists liked the orchard because their patients could eat something healthy, that wouldn’t cause problems for teeth. Everything in its time and place, the orchardist often said. Failure to try meant a failure to live fully. Gossiping was over-rated, since it was not a very healthy habit. Hayrides could be held in orchards, but not in this one. Importance was placed on working hard, not hardly working. Jugglers would love to juggle in this orchard, as the view to the surrounding Lake Michigan would have been a beautiful backdrop. Kildeer birds were found in the orchard, the birds with the long, spindly legs and seagull-like cry. Lake Michigan down below was like a beautifully sparkling, blue jewel. Monarch butterflies flew nearby, but human monarchs did not have as beautiful a kingdom as this. Never be afraid of hard work, the orchardist said. Optimize joy, is the idea his daughter now practices. Press memories firmly in your heart so they can add value to your life. Questions in life will always abound, but good questioning leads to wonderful living. Ranting and raving tends to bring a person down, so stay away from it. Sarcasm is also another energy-draining vice that is a good idea to leave at the door. Troubles are made easier by sharing with a trusted friend. Umbrellas do their best work when rain is falling without heavy winds. Victory can be ours if we but persevere. When someone asks for help, freely give it, because someday you may be asking for help. Expound on the good, forget the bad, and balance can be found, pretty as a peace rose.  Yellow is the orchardist’s daughter (me)’s favorite color, its creaminess being a very calming feature for her.  Zebras are black and white, but woe to the person who sees the world in just those colors.


Poetry Saturday – Rose


Pink rose petals

Pink rose petals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Amorpha fruticosa flowers. Note that unlike mo...

Amorpha fruticosa flowers. Note that unlike most other plants of the bean/legume family this one’s flowers only have one petal. Usually a bean flower has a large “standard”, two “wings” and two “keel” petals. Here, only the large standard petal is developed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When the dew

sparkles on your fragrant petals

I know it’s June


I think of my Aunt June

whose name I have for my middle name

(she was born in June, I was not)


Dear rose

you have so many lovely varieties

I like the peace rose most of all


Light yellow petals

with a soft pink in the middle of the flower

the fragrance even more delicate than other roses


To look upon you

I feel peace —

just like what is your name


Please try

to hang around longer this year

that way

I will remember to be

happy and smiling all year ’round


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You may remember that I love to look at various types of home architecture.  Especially in my neighborhood, there are no two houses that look alike (well, except for the townhomes, which come with three floor plans).

I got to walking in my neighborhood

dreaming in my own little world as usual

wondering about the lives of the inhabitants inside the homes

Are they happy?

Now that they’ve “arrived”, have they found the contentment they had sought?

Or have prior conflicts and shattered relationships just followed them?


And how is the house of my heart?

Dusty and cold?

Or filled with sponges that soak up everything around it?


I don’t mind being a sponge

but sometimes I wish I wouldn’t be so absorbent

pay attention to what’s going on with me

yet still care what happens to my loved ones


Can there please be a happy medium?

I look for that every day

I don’t want to be carried out with the tide



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NaPoWriMo #23

free for use My photos that have a creative co...

free for use My photos that have a creative commons license and are free for everyone to download, edit, alter and use as long as you give me, “D Sharon Pruitt” credit as the original owner of the photo. Have fun and enjoy! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The more I wrote this poem, the more I kept thinking of “Leave it to Beaver” and his buddy Larry!


Mother said: “You won’t sled and be done
until you have some fun.”

So out he went into the cold and fell off the sled
‘Twas all because of his obtuse friend Fred

Oh, they got chilled to the bone
too cold to have an ice cream cone.

They struggled up the hill flat on their bellies
while Fred, as always, was dreaming of delis.

When they finally got to the hilltop
and in the distance saw a candy shop
Fred got so excited, he fell backwards
and landed on the farmer’s herds.

Mother’s boy had not had fun
he knew this before the day was done

More sledding would have to wait till next year

till his heart saying “Let’s go sledding!” he would hear.


One More Month!

Bride and Best Men

Bride and Best Men (Photo credit: bbska)

We can hardly believe it -In just one more month we will be married.

Yikes!  Call for the troops –

I need support!

Actually, I can already feel

your support – spoken or unspoken.

You WordPress folks, both male and female,

mean the world to me,

and that is why I’m sharing my heart here.

From the beginning of our engagement,

we decided to have a very tiny wedding.

Not as many details to plan,

we figured,

but I guess that doesn’t prevent the rush toward the end

of the waiting time.

Now just one more month to go,

and my wedding wear has been found

(a hilarious story that everyone can enjoy will

post later this week),

the pastor and church reserved,

reception place and time planned.

But alas, I’ve forgotten about the house till now –

we will be residing here at my home when married,

which means I’ve got to rearrange some rooms

and streamline even further

to make room for some of Dave’s things.

And — we are writing our own vows –

I’ve gotta get moving —

and of course, I will be available

to give Dave suggestions only  IF he wants them.  🙂

Oh, yes!  Our Christmas tree wants to be put up this month, too.

Yes, “love is a many-splendored thing”,

so sunshine is bursting all around me lately.  (Good analogy, Tom)

Hopefully I’ve added a little smile to your day in the process.




Dying Person’s Prayer – In Three Perspectives


My Prayer For All The Dying

Dear God,

I pray for all dying cancer patients –

If they’re sad, may the sadness lift,

May they turn to You in their last moments,

May they feel calm in the safety of your hand.

Give the gift of the peace from your love

And may they catch a glimpse of you and heaven

ahead of time, if that will encourage them.

Keep them safe in your care

until it is time for them to finally go home

and see their friends and family

waiting for them on that far shore.

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.