I'm watching the Food Network, and JEEZ I'm getting hungry! Tyler Florence is revisiting an old favorite, Chicken Cacciatore. I like him--he's very low key and fairly practical in his cooking style--and I love Chicken Cacciatore. It makes me want to make it this week, so I may have to add that to the menu. Tyler is making it with polenta, but I like just plain rice.
Speaking of rice, I've been doing my best to use long grain rice, and more often than not, brown rice. Both Felicia and Jillian are vegetarians, and while I don't see Ken and I ever going that route (Let me put it this way: if we live to be 500 hundred years old, we'll never be vegetarians.), from what Felicia and Jillian say and from everything I've read, it's a good thing to eat more whole grains, such as brown rice. I like it, although I've found it takes a tiny bit longer to cook than white rice. I won't lie--I still use Minute Rice on occasion, but real rice is lots better.
We got a nice card from Ken's mom today, so I wrote them a letter. I know most of you don't know my stepfather-in-law, but he's starting radiation treatments tomorrow, so please send him positive thoughts, and if you're so inclined, prayers. One of the things we got Ken's mom for Christmas was two of Mitch Albom's books, Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven. I had never read them until Ken passed them along to me--I think his friend Bill is the one who got them for Ken. Ken's mom finished "Five People," and wrote that she found it very moving. I found it to be an almost life-changing book for me. It made me realize that our words and actions can have an effect on people. I'm far from perfect and have much work to do, but it made me resolve to do my best to be a positive influence on people and to be a positive person.
After Ken and I quit smoking, my friend Jim and I were exchanging emails. He told me that our strength and willpower in our effort to quit smoking had inspired him, and he decided to start eating healthier. He's struggled with his weight for many years, but he did indeed start eating better, he started exercising, and last I knew, he'd lost a good 30 pounds--I bet he's lost even more by now. I can really tell the difference in him, too! It touched me so much that something Ken and I did for our own health affected someone else so much that they decided to make a change in their health.
Never doubt that our words and actions have an effect on others. I'll continue to strive to do better and to always remember that we're a pebble tossed into the pond of life, that our presence produces ripples, and that we do affect those around us.