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Defeat A Bad Attitude

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“The way to repair a bad attitude is to practice gratitude.”  When things seem to be going all wrong and anger is welling up in your gut, it may help if you try to find things that you are grateful for in your life. A bit of self-control may be necessary to focus on something other than your problems; however, the benefits will astound you.  It is difficult to be mad when you are thanking the universe for your blessings. 

According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in 2002, “Optimistic people decreased their risk of early death by 50% compared with those who leaned more towards pessimism. “  Therefore, by being optimistic and grateful for your life and the people and things in it, you are giving yourself a better chance at a longer life. Consequently, your practice of gratitude will make that long life a much happier one.

What are some things to be grateful for?  You can start with the things most of us take for granted like food, water, and shelter.  Many people in the world are not as fortunate to have these simple necessities of life.  Be thankful for the car you drive, the light in your house, the washer and dryer. Show gratitude for the cashier that rang up your order at McDonald’s, the janitor who cleans your office, or the person who sorts your mail at the Post Office.  Look around you. There are thousands of things for you to be grateful for as they touch your everyday. 

Once you begin to experience gratitude practice it daily.  Suddenly, that bad attitude will be just a memory and your life will be a joyful place.  Does this sound too preachy? Try it and see if it works.  What do you have to lose but a bad attitude?

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Southwestern Chicken Chili

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Busy weeknights are a common place occurrence at the Jennirific house.  Sometimes dinner makes it into the crockpot in the morning and sometimes it just doesn’t.  I am sure we all have those days. 
This recipe is a go to for me because it turns out wonderfully no matter which method I am able to apply to it, crockpot or stove top.  Packed with veggies, protein, and fiber this meal will keep the family fueled through all their activities!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and chopped (you may increase amount to taste)
  • 2 medium chopped red, green, and/or yellow bell pepper
  • 2 15- to 15-1/2 ounce cans Great Northern, pinto, or cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pot of Pot of Gold Bouillion
  • 1 lb chopped cooked chicken* (see note below)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped.
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
  • Broken tortilla chips (optional)


  1. Add olive oil to a 4 quart or larger stock pan along with chopped onions.
  2. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and jalapeno pepper and continue to sauté, 1 minute
  4. Add bell pepper, beans, cumin, salt, chicken stock, and bouillon.
  5. Allow to come to boil
  6. Add chicken, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer.
  7. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  If chili seems too thin to your taste, remove lid while cooking to help reduce the liquid and thicken the chili.  The chili will continue to thicken after cooking, do not reduce all liquid.
  8. Stir in about ½ cup of chopped cilantro
  9. Serve, garnish with cheese and chips if desired.

Finished cooking and ready to serve!


  • In a slow cooker stir together the drained beans, chicken, onion, sweet pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, cumin and salt. Stir in chicken broth.
  • Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. If desired, top each serving with shredded cheese and broken tortilla chips.

*A note regarding adding cooked meat into recipes.
 For this recipe I usually cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the same pot I will cook the chili in.  This allows the chili to soak up all the flavors left over from the cooked chicken.  That being said, you have to season the meat before cooking.  A simple sprinkle of black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder will give your meat a great flavor and ensure the dish you are adding it to also has a great taste.  Meat without seasoning equals bland food as an end result. 


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I am a putterer.  A putterer, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is a person who regularly or occasionally engages in an activity as a pastime rather than as a profession.  I have named myself this because it is impossible to keep my mind from flitting from one subject to the next.  Where some people have the ability to focus on one thing exclusively and become good at it, I on the other hand, flit about, or putter with hundreds of things.  I guess I get bored or maybe I have adult ADHD and this is what it looks like.  Who knows?  All I know is that I cannot stick with any one thing so diligently, that I actually succeed at that one thing in a big way.  I guess I am the epitome of the quote, “Jack of all Trades; master of none”.

Here are some things that I have puttered with…

Singing.  I have always wanted to be a singer.  As a little girl, I stood in the bathroom mirror and sang to Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson songs.  At 17, I joined a band for about six months and lost my voice singing “Highway to Hell” by AC-DC.  I have sung at karaoke night, been in a talent show, and even tried out for “The Voice”.

At one point in my early years, I was not happy with myself; and I hated the way I spoke.  Following this further, I went to the library, picked up some English workbooks, and taught myself proper English.  It was not that hard, I had learned English in school. I just used too much slang when I spoke.  This helped me talk better and made me feel comfortable around others.

When my children were young, my family needed another income, but I did not want to get a job outside the home and leave my kids with strangers.  So I opened up my own daycare. It was a legitimate business with a license and a food program.  I had many clients with many babies who came and went through my home while my kids were growing up.  I even claimed it on my taxes.  Nevertheless, I got bored and it was hard always having your home as a place of business. Consequently, daycare led to going back to school full-time and working part-time to become a teacher.  After all, I still enjoyed kids; I just did not want to have them in my house.  With my own children older and in school all day, I could now focus on getting a BA in Education.

However, that still was not enough for me.  I then began reading about alternative medicine. No, I didn’t become a doctor! However, I did learn some interesting things about supplements, and ailments, and different cures for everyday things.  I also learned how eating affects your health, which lead to cooking!

Trying out different and healthy recipes became a new hobby of mine.  I took old recipes and adjusted them to the new and improved recipes.  I collected recipe books from garage sales and thrift stores.  I made some delicious meals and a few duds that even the dog would not eat.

I took up hobbies like sewing, woodworking, and gardening.  I collected books on each of those subjects, too.  I have made curtains for my whole house and for a few family members’ homes. One Easter Break, I decided to make a queen-sized bed out of pine. (I still sleep on this bed.) In addition, every spring I plant my garden of tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers.  I still have not perfected a good gardening technique.

When my bathroom desperately needed to be gutted and redone, I convinced my husband we could DIY it.  That too began on an Easter Break and lasted a few weeks after break to my husband’s dismay.  I have since, challenged myself to redo a room for under $500, laid two laminate floors, and painted every room in my house twice.

Then there is writing….  I have always, as long as I can remember, written: Diaries, journals, stories, jokes, articles, poems, and now, blogs.  I have tried to write novels, without much luck, because, I believe, I cannot stick with anything that long.  However, short blogs, short anything, I can do.

I am not sure if I will ever find one thing, I can stick with long enough to be good at it. I guess I really like to putter.  Oh, did I mention that I have been married 31 years?  Maybe I am a star at marriage.  Who knew???

Are you a putterer or dabbler like me?  Tell us about the puttering you do in your daily life.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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