Armed Forces Day Word Search




Today is Armed Forces Day in the U.S. It is celebrated in the United States as a day to appreciate all active duty service members. This day is not to be confused with Veterans Day or Memorial Day.

Winter Fruit Salad with Maple-Lime Dressing


There’s something about fruit salad that calls out to me to have two servings.  Just take a look at this beauty.  It’s a recipe from Julia so it has to be good, and healthy.  Here’s how to prepare it.

Mandarin or clementine oranges, kiwi fruit, apples, pears, pomegranate seeds, cranberries, maple lime dressing

Winter Fruit Salad with Maple-Lime Dressing – healthy, gluten free salad that utilizes seasonal winter fruit.   This colorful and vibrant side dish will look great on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table!  The ingredient list includes red apples, pears, clementine oranges (or mandarin oranges), kiwi fruit, dried cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. This salad is packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins – all the good stuff you need, especially in the Winter.

How to make winter fruit salad

  1. Combine all salad ingredients (red apples, pears, kiwi fruit, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, clementine oranges) in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of lime juice).
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat.
  4. Serve immediately.

Why make this salad?

This healthy winter fruit salad will fill you up with the nutrients and the vitamins during the cold winter months.  It will also make a great holiday menu item, for Thanksgiving or Christmas or any other holiday.

Salad ingredients include red apples, pears, kiwi fruit, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, clementine oranges (you can use mandarin oranges, too) – all of that tossed in a delicious maple-lime dressing!

Thank you, Julia.  Please send any left-overs to me.  j/k

It’s Time to Talk Turkey

The clock is ticking, the day is getting nearer.  That’s right, it’s Thanksgiving Day fast approaching.  Are you ready for it ?  We in the U.S. think of this day as the start of the holiday season, which won’t end until the day after New Years Day.

Employers think of this as la-la time as many employees have something other than work on their minds.  First, its’s Thanksgiving, then the Black Friday shopping adventure, followed by Cyber Monday when shoppers go crazy buying on the web.  Next,  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the best/worst days of the year depending on your family situation.  We top it all off with a  New Years Eve celebration to beat all and New Years Day football marathon to kick back.  Whew.  No wonder it’s call la-la time.

So let us begin at the beginning.  Thanksgiving, the busiest travel time for Americans, is November 28 this year (My birthday-no presents please).  It’s always the fourth Thursday of November which this month is quite late.  A good thing for those who must prepare the meal, but a bad thing for shoppers as their time for shopping has been reduced by about a week.

Now about the turkey, and the trimmings.  It’s time to plan the meal to prepare it, or to order it, or to make reservations to visit the host of restaurants that will be serving it to you and your party.  That sounds ideal, but does take away the intimacy of the event.  Either way, get cookin’.  Time is marching on.  This year, no last minute preparations.  You got this, so just do it.  Make this a very…


10 Unique Thanksgiving Decoration Ideas

In the U.S. Thanksgiving is November 28, the last Thursday in November (Also my birthday).  Now is the time to get some decorating ideas percolating.  Here are 10 ideas to get you started planning that wonderful get-together.  This is the first of a series of ideas.



1. Thanksgiving Fruit Platter


This would look cute in the middle of all your appetizers! Check it out!

 2. Thankful Pumpkin

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 1.13.24 PM

What a great way to say what you’re thankful for! Keep this decoration for years to come!  Check it out!

3. Thankful Tree


Share what you’re thankful for on pretty tree branches! Take a look!

4. White Pumpkin Centerpiece


LOVE this! It’s so simple and pretty and has a personalized touch! See it here!

5.  Grater Centerpiece


Old and Rusty turned beautiful! Love this!

6. Forks, Knives & Spoons!


Cute and useful! Keep this for many years! See it here!

7. Kids Thankful Turkeys


Make the Thanksgiving Table more fun with this classic! View it here!

8. Turkey Handprint Tablecloth


Personalize your Thanksgiving! Check it out!

9. Personalized Acorns


Who would have thought! I love this idea! Find out more!

10. Classic Centerpiece


You can work off of this! I think it’s a fun start! View it here!

Diwali—Sunday, October 27


Diwali is a “Festival of Lights”

Hundu Festival, Lahore, Pakistan - 07 Nov 2018

K M Chaudary/AP/Shutterstock

Bright lights, bright colors, food, and fireworks. It might sound like the Fourth of July, but Diwali is something else entirely.

Diwali, Divali, Deepavali or Dipavali is a four to five day-long festival of lights, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists every autumn in the northern hemisphere. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness. During the celebration, temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated. The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days, with the climax occurring on the third day coinciding with the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, the festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Diwali is India’s biggest holiday, transcending religions and cultures to celebrate the triumph of good over evil (as symbolized by lights in the darkness).


What Diwali literally means

India Customs Festival - Nov 2012Sanjeev Gupta/EPA/Shutterstock

The name “Diwali” is actually short for Dipawali (or Deepawali) which refers to the clay lamps (“deepa“) that celebrants arrange in rows (“avali“) outside their homes.

Diwali is multi-culti

Diwali festival, Trafalgar Square, London, UK - 28 Oct 2018Guy Bell/Shutterstock

Diwali began in the Hindu religion, but it’s been adopted across Indian culture (much like Christmas has been adopted across American culture). It’s also celebrated in many countries, particularly Asia, although please don’t count out the United Kingdom, whose lavish celebrations of Diwali are among the world’s most colorful (as shown in this photo taken on Diwali in Trafalgar Square).

Food is an essential part of Diwali…

Food at Diwali, Hindu FestivalPhotofusion/Shutterstock

“Indian sweets and desserts are called mithai and are a staple part of Diwali celebrations,” according to the Independent U.K. Many of the treats are fried foods made from sugar, chickpea flour, and condensed milk.

For more pictures and celebrations, see the following Readers Digest story:



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