-Desiree Cooper on Weekend America - " The 9-Step Weekend Recovery Program"-
So How Would You Change Your Weekends If You Knew Your Days Were Numbered?
She landed a job in the 9-5+++ corporate world, and like all of us she couldn't wait for the weekend. But she soon found out her weekends were filled with CHORES--and that left little time for the kind of adventures she was hoping for. Something had to change. After surviving cancer, she wanted more for her life than work and weekend chores!
Here's How Kathryn Kern Reclaimed Her Weekends with Her 9-Step Program**my comments in orange.
1. Unless I am expecting a call, I let my voicemail screen my calls, no matter what. This makes me less accessible and gives me the ability to prioritize and call back at my convenience. We bought a phone that enables Caller ID and it's a huge help. Toll-free solicitation calls are ignored and if someone doesn't leave a message (like our kids), the phone still records who has called--and we can return the call even if there isn't a message.
2. Designate ring tones to people I want to hear from (and not hear from). Our kids have special rings!
3. Let people know that email is my preferred method of communication and that they are likely to get a response faster through this medium. Seems like many of my friends already use email to leave a message rather than phone. We all know how even quickie phone calls often turn longer than expected.
4. Only check my personal email once a day on the weekend, if at all. I would definitely like to stay away from the computer at least one day on the weekend--it would free up a lot of wasted time!
5. Do not over-schedule on the weekend. Try to keep the weekend schedule simple and flexible. Yes, Yes!
6. Spread the chores over weekdays so that they are not part of the plans for the weekend. Brilliant, if you can manage it. This is my favorite Kern suggestion!
7. When a paid company holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, take a vacation day the day before or the day after, creating a four-day weekend.
8. Only spend time with happy people. Like this one too!
9. Say no frequently.
According to Kern, it's all about setting boundaries! Something I'm not very good about.
How is she spending her weekends now? They're relaxing. She spends a lot of time hiking and dabbling in a number of hobbies she's passionate about.
Would she have been so hard-nosed about her weekends if she had not had breast cancer? No! She says that she was always thinking about everybody except herself. It was hard to live in the moment. But now she does, because she realizes how precious life is.
My Perfect Weekend. A Movie Recommendation & Recipes
- Friday Night. On the spur-of-the-moment my husband & I saw Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino. Do not miss it! It's the perfect guy-gal movie. There's tough-guy Eastwood with violence, revenge & foul language for the men. A tender story of second chances, atonement & reconciliation for the women. This just may turn out to be one of my all-time favorites. Really! It's like my other fave: The Visitor but on steroids.
1 32 oz. box of Imagine Bistro Cuban Black Bean Bisque
1/2 a box of 32 oz. Imagine Tomato with Smoked Red Pepper Bisque
1 15.5 oz.can of Trader Joes' Cuban Style Black Beans (contains black beans, bell peppers, onions, garlic, & spices)
Mix it all together & cook until hot.
Imagine soups are available at Whole Foods & Trader Joe's.
- Late Saturday Afternoon. Finished preparing the Food Blogga's African Sweet Potato Pineapple Peanut Soup. I LOVE this soup. It was a hit at a recent pot luck dinner & last night, too!
African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup
I've made this twice & each time I've doubled it to make 8-12 servings. It lasts for 4-5 days & the taste keeps improving.
Makes 4-6 servings
Print recipe only here.
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthwise
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup fresh or canned diced pineapple (drain canned pineapple) I used fresh
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy salted peanut butter
1/2 jalapeno (the more the seeds the hotter the flavor)
I also added 1/4 tsp. of cayenne powder. We like a little kick & the jalapeno wasn't enough!
1 (15 oz) can light coconut milk (if you're looking for fat-free coconut milk, try this recipe & sub soy creamer or soy milk for the fat-free half and half)
salt, to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with tinfoil (for easy clean up). Brush the flesh of the sweet potatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil; roast flesh side down for 40-45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Scoop out the flesh and discard the skins.
In a deep pot over medium heat, saute onions and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add cooked potatoes, pineapple, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to low, and add brown sugar, peanut butter, and jalapeno; cook 7-8 minutes. Turn off heat; allow to cool 5-10 minutes before pureeing.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; return to the pot over low heat. Add the coconut milk and salt, and stir occasionally until the soup is thoroughly combined and heated, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. If you prefer a thinner soup, simply add a bit more water or broth until desired consistency is reached.
Garnish individual bowls with thinly sliced fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.
The Rest of the Weekend
- Saturday Night. Dinner at home with friends. African Sweet Potato Pineapple Peanut Soup, salad, crusty bread & Vegan with a Vengeance's Asparagus and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata. Multiple games of Euchre (a first for me) and we were able to cajole our skeptical friends into a SingStar Karaoke competition. We sang, Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, the Monkee's Daydream Believer, John Lennon's Imagine, Ray Charles' Hit the Road Jack, the Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil and more, until our voices gave out and we couldn't keep our eyes open a minute longer.
- Sunday Morning. Spinning & yoga classes at the gym.
- Sunday Afternoon. Grocery shopping for the ingredients for my next vegan cooking experiment. "Tofu Basil Cheese" and "Tempeh Italian Sausage" Pizza on Trader Joe's Tabula Rasa Whole Grain Pizza crust. Yep, it was a winner! Took a nap! Washed clothes. Straightened the house.
- Sunday Evening. I'm Chillin'.