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It costs nothing to be nice

by Minden Press-Herald

As we start the holiday season things become stressful for most. The work schedule ramps up and we have to get a lot done so we can be off.

Also, we try to figure out what will be happening for the holidays. Are we going somewhere or are people coming in? The house needs to be cleaned. Food needs to be purchased ahead of time — and make sure we have enough for all who is coming.

I plan menus ahead of time and try to have all bought so we can just dig in the freezer and pantry and feed whomever needs food. I also make sweets ahead of time for people to have while visiting.

If that’s not enough, there is still laundry that needs to be done.

And, don’t forget about the pets. It is cold outside so they just can’t be left out so you have to make sure they go out in a timely manner or there will be messes.

All this, and family! Yes, family is coming. We all need to be on our best behavior – no fighting or arguing. Can there be a family gathering without any fighting? Well in my house there can be.

I have never had the whole family at our house at the same time. They all live out of state. So, they come in one family at a time — and that helps for sure. If everyone were to show up at once, we would have to pile up and share where we sleep. That has been a problem before, but we are getting older now most want their own bed for sleeping.

Holidays also make me think of the families that are missing their love ones that have passed away. Those are always tough times for many. Some folks don’t like the holidays because of this. This is one of those times when we need to show more love and grace. Even to those we don’t know.

We see some crabby people everywhere you go, and sometimes you just want to pop off something to them. We must remember other people’s attitudes are rarely about you. They are having a bad day.

Along those lines, don’t forget the people that pull out in front of you on the street. Take a deep breath and move on.

People are stressing over the holiday seasons. They could have lost their job, missing a love one, or all alone for Christmas. We don’t know what is happening.

Being nice, or even a hug, could change that person’s whole day or holiday. This is something I have been working on for the past couple of years.

From here on out you won’t be able to go anywhere without it being busy. There are people with short tempers, or just plain mean. Don’t retaliate just turn and walk away — or kill them with kindness. Here is a good challenge — see if you can pray with them. That is a hard one for most. God may have put them in your path for a reason.

Follow the leading Holy Spirit and do what your suppose to do. You will be blessed and they will also.

Leftover Turkey Corn Chowder

This leftover turkey corn chowder comes together in about 30 minutes and is the most delicious way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

2 cups shredded leftover fully cooked turkey (may sub shredded leftover fully cooked chicken)
2 15-ounce cans cream style corn
1 15-ounce can sweet yellow whole kernel corn
3 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 celery rib, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups cubed golden or red potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder salt and pepper to taste


In a large stock pot combine cream style corn, whole kernel corn, broth, celery, bell peppers, potatoes, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.

Cover and simmer over medium heat for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Stir in turkey and season with salt and pepper. When turkey is heated through, serve and garnish with fresh parsley or thyme as desired.

Tina Specht is co-publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. She shares her thoughts and recipes each Thursday.

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