25 September 2017

On Kneeling During the Anthem - One Lady's Thoughts

Courtesy of Microsoft
Dear Ladies,

I hope that everyone is doing well, feeling good, and sharing her joie de vivre with others in her sphere of influence.

As has been appearing in the news, certain American football players have taken to kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before football games.  How very, very special it is of them!

Although football players have a right to kneel during the anthem, a right that is protected by the Constitution of the United States, when they do so, it is as if they are spitting on the grave of every single veteran who made playing their stupid, irrelevant football game in peace possible.  Real men and women who have served this country are being disrespected by men who play with an inflated pig skin and dance when they cross a line.

I understand what it is to be treated differently--and not in a good way--because of something that I could not and would not change about myself, and I am guessing that the players have been slighted in the past.  I understand, as well, that people of color in the United States are subject to mistreatment by those in authority.  But these kneeling wonders of manhood possess every good thing that this country has to offer: freedom, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, wealth, and health. Professional football players in this country are treated as if they are demigods! 

In contrast, I think of our veterans who are treated roughly to prepare them for combat (real combat, not a little game), who work more hours than they should, in horrific conditions, and then, if they do come home in one piece, they frequently cannot access the benefits they were promised, benefits they need to heal from PTSD and other psychological as well as physical ailments.  

I suggest that those alleged men who wish to disrespect veterans by kneeling during the anthem simply remain in the locker room until the anthem is complete.  

Or they could "grow a pair" (please forgive the vulgarity), stand up, and show respect to the country and the veterans who gave them so much.

Agape always,
Cynthia

22 September 2017

Femininity Friday: Low Carb Pumpkin Yummies!

Courtesy of Microsoft
Dear Ladies,

Happy Autumntide!   I hope that you all are feeling well, doing good, and sharing your joie de vivre with those fortunate enough to be within your sphere of influence.

Due to some health changes, I have been advised to watch my consumption of starches and refined sugar even more than I was already doing.  Okey-dokey, not a problem...or it wasn't until I realized how many of my favorite pumpkin-based recipes include a fairly significant hit of refined sugar.

I was blessed to find some new recipes to satisfy that yearly pumpkin craving as well as making changes to a pair of old favorites.

Next Friday, I plan to share some moderate carbohydrate Autumn-y dishes I have found.

Enjoy with every blessing!

Agape always,
Cynthia

1.  Slow Cooker Pumpkin Applesauce: The taste!  The nutrition!  I could not wait to try this recipe.  Preparing the entire batch took only a few hours and cost less than $3.00.  In addition to eating the applesauce straight, family members enjoyed the concoction on oatmeal and on waffles.






2.  Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer: I changed the recipe a bit as I don't have any essential oils; I substituted 1/2 tsp cinnamon and five shakes of ground clove for the oils. 





3.  Cynthia's Autumn Iced Coffee for Two

Sixteen ounces brewed coffee, preferably chilled
Four ounces heavy cream*
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Two tsp. stevia (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Five grates nutmeg
Three or four ice cubes

Place all ingredients in the blender and pulse until well-mixed.  

* I am not on a fat or dairy restriction; if desired, however, coconut milk or almond milk could be tried.

4.  Cynthia's No Crust, No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Fifteen ounces pumpkin puree
Eight ounces cream cheese, softened
Two packages sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
Five grates nutmeg
Stevia to taste

Blend the ingredients together until smooth.  Check for sweetness and add stevia, if desired.  Spread in an 8x8 pan (if you'd like to serve it in squares) or a bowl (if you'd like to serve in dollops), and refrigerate until firm (two-ish hours).  

Optionally, the cheesecake can be topped with sweetened whipped cream.






21 September 2017

Autumn Pretties!

Courtesy of Microsoft
Autumn is my favorite season, and this coming up Friday is the time!  I am on the lookout for low-sugar pumpkin recipes; I hope to post those on Friday.  Today, however, I want to share some beautiful autumn items (and one wintry item) I found online.  Please be aware that I have not personally purchased and evaluated the items, nor are any of the links affiliate links: the items are simply things I have seen in catalogs I receive.  

One of the most common questions I receive is how to wear dresses or skirts during cold weather.  As long-term readers may remember, I lived in the inter-mountain western United States for several years, where the autumns are chilly and the winters are downright frigid.  I regularly wore leggings under my dresses and skirts to keep my legs warm.  If the sidewalks and streets were icy or snowy, I tucked my leggings into my snow boots; otherwise, I wore them with my usual ballet flats.  I wouldn't wear leggings without a dress or skirt due to modesty concerns.  

Here follow a few particularly feminine leggings I found recently in the Victorian Trading Company catalog:  

1.  These April Cornell Leggings come in black, wine, and rose print and run from extra small to 2X in size.  The black and wine feature very pretty embroidery on the lower calf.  The leggings are $59.95, pricey, to be sure, but with cold water washing and hang drying, they might last more than one season. 

2.   Like the embroidered look but needing to save a bit?  Perhaps these Hopeless Romantic leggings would meet your needs.  They come in two sizes--regular and queen--and have pretty embroidery with a more moderate price tag of $39.95.  

3.  My personal favorite leggings are the Hopeless Romantic Softskins Lavish Lace, which come in ivory and black and in sizes small through extra large.

Victorian Trading Company offers several beautiful dresses, but  almost all of them are, in my opinion, too expensive.  This velvet gown is priced to the point ($69.95) that I don't believe it could be sewn at home for much less.

I love wearing a shawl, but so many of them are matronly looking.  This shawl from The Paragon tucks around the body in such a way that a feminine silhouette is maintained.

Finally, the winter item that I want to share is so cute that I am guessing that Victorian Trading Company will sell out soon.  This hat and hand warmer combo is girlish and yet sophisticated.  

I hope that my woman-to-woman ideas have helped.  If something looks interesting, I suggest investigating the company carefully before buying an item.  I haven't bought anything from either place in years, so policies, quality, etc., could have changed.

Have a fascinating day!

Agape always,
Cynthia

PS: I am starting a new series of Advanced/Basic Marriage Enrichment classes the first week in October.  This might be a fine time to work on yourself and your relationship.  

https://cynthiaberenger.wixsite.com/cynthiaberenger/classes

26 August 2017

Femininity Friday: Two Videos Based on Mrs. A's Book and My Book

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain
I know, I know: it is Saturday night, but I still wanted to share some videos I found that might be of interest to you.

A young wife named Shenaye Suggs has read both Mrs. Andelin's book Fascinating Womanhood as well as my curriculum, A Fascinating Companion, and has added her own thoughts and experiences.  Now, I need to clarify that I don't agree with everything Mrs. Suggs has to say, and she contextualizes the teachings within her religion. At the same time, I did find the videos I watched to be interesting and thought you might, too.

This video is part of a series.  Mrs. Suggs blends her own remarks about Mrs. A's book and my book with content from both books.  My only real qualm would be that I would have liked to have heard more clarity in terms of when she is paraphrasing Mrs. A or me.  Parts of the Proverbs 31 discussion, for one example, are directly from my curriculum.  Other than that qualm, I found her ideas, well, fascinating.



The second video concentrates on homemaking, always a helpful topic.  



Agape always,
Cynthia