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Volume III
July, 2013

Newsletter Home / Table Talk

Finding Happiness Along the Trail

By Carrie Collette

The other day I took my three year old daughter out for a stroll. About one minute into our walk she began her usual dialogue of listing off everything she sees: "Look Mom! A bird! A bird!" or "Mommy!! There's a flower!" and of course, "A potato bug Mom!". Her little voice raises about five octaves every time she tells me about these wonders of nature.

It was in this moment I realized that she found everything about this world absolutely fascinating. I felt a little guilty reflecting upon all the things I constantly take for granted. I'm not sure I look down at the ground for interesting bugs every time I step outside or look up to gaze at the birds gracefully flying across the sky or bend over to sniff a flower each time I walk by one. Maybe if I did take time to appreciate all of these things, I would be as carefree and happy as my sweet three year old daughter.

Right about now you are probably wondering how this has anything to do with food. As I was thinking about what to write for this month's article, I immediately thought about Trail Mix. Trail Mix makes me happy. I think it is because every time you reach into the bag you inevitably grab something different from the last handful. With the wide assortment of goodies, it becomes a mini surprise with each handful. It makes those long hikes up the mountain seem just a little shorter with a bag of Trail Mix in hand.

Wouldn't it be great if we viewed life a little bit more like a bag of Trail Mix? Sometimes we reach into the bag and pull out a handful of nuts. While I do like nuts, it certainly is not as exciting as pulling out a handful of M&M's. However, if all I had were a bag full of M&M's, there would be no excitement each time I reached in. The nuts, raisins, seeds, etc. are what add variety, thus making each bite of chocolate that much sweeter each time it appears in my hand.

So instead of wishing life were simply a bag of chocolate goodies, maybe we should take time to appreciate everything around us, because the variety is what makes life so wonderful. The sweet would not appear so sweet without the salty. We add all the bits and pieces together and it creates a beautiful array of excitement called Life. Let's strap on our gear, grab a bag of Trail Mix, and enjoy the journey together.

Kiddos Favorite Trail Mix Recipe

Serving size: 15
Calories per serving: 149

1 cup Cheerios toasted oat cereal (honey nut and apple cinnamon work equally as well)
1 cup Goldfish or other cheese cracker
1 cup cherry-flavored dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
1 cup cashew nuts (or other favorite nuts)
1 cup miniature M&M chocolate candy (or other chocolate candies)
1 cup butterscotch or peanut butter chips
1 cup miniature pretzel twists or pretzel stick

Throw everything together in a sealed container.
Store in cool, dry area (to prevent melting of chocolate candies/chips and other soft ingredients).

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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Carrie Collette
Monthly Newsletter Contributer since 2013

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