Thursday, January 7, 2016

_The Hancock News_ Column--January 6, 2016

I decided to make a New Year’s resolution this year after my mother noticed a bad habit I’d fallen into. “Straighten up!” she begged. You see, I’m literally in a slump. I am a sloucher.

When I was younger, people sometimes complimented me on my good posture which was drilled into me by years of marching in the band. Those days are long gone. Years of nursing and gazing down at a babe in arms have helped my shoulders bow down. Toting about hip-huggers and staggering under the weight of toddlers couldn’t have helped either. While I’m proud of my little ones, I certainly don’t stand tall to show it.

So my resolution is to improve my posture. I’m hoping this resolution is an easy one to keep since it’ll improve both my appearance and health without requiring any extra time or money-- just thought and effort.

Unfortunately, not all worthy resolutions are as easy as mine. Some people truly struggle because of their own bad habits or difficult situations. You know them when you see them because their shoulders sag not out of laziness (as mine do), but instead the weight of the world drags them down.

When you see somebody sinking down, offering the “Straighten up!” that my mother gave me probably won’t help. Instead, try to find a kind word or a smile. Extend a helping hand if you’re able. One small gesture won’t fix all of those heavy problems, but it can lighten the load enough to make a difference.


It seems January is the time people focus on healthier eating. There must be a bazillion different diets out there claiming to be the best one. It’s too confusing! The only thing I’ve seen most of them agree on is that vegetables are good for you. 

My daughter is the self-proclaimed Vegetable Girl. She learned how to make a dip from my friend who watched the children while I was having the baby in September, and now she wants to make it all the time. I must admit, it certainly does help the veggies go down more easily. 

While she normally just wants to throw in the ingredients, we did measure them out the last time so I could share the recipe with you. Please note that my daughter named this dip after herself and also decided it should be famous.

Helen’s Famous Dip

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (healthier option!)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 3 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder

Mix everything together in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.

*This post has been shared at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth for The Art of Home-Making Monday.


  1. This recipe sounds wonderful! It is always great when you can find an easy way to get your kids to eat their veggies, that is awesome!

    1. Thank you. There's a lot of room for creativity with a basic dip. Add a flavor here or take one out there. . . kids really like feeling like they are making a decision about what goes into it.

  2. This sounds delicious. We loves dips in these parts! Thank you for sharing! P.S. My husband has been after me for slumping at the dinner table lately... This is a good resolution for me as well!

    1. At the table is probably the worst for me. I'm often holding a baby at the table. My table manners have also deteriorated just when I need them most to pass on to the children. Sigh. One thing at a time.

  3. I've noticed the slouching in my own habits, too! I happened right after my #6 was born and I walked past a mirror and thought, "Is that a hump on my back?" I noticed that it disappeared almost completely by simply straightening up. I didn't realized how much I slouched!! So now I am trying to break the habit, too. It's easier said than done, but I am much more aware of it now. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you. Happy new year to you, too! (I'm sure you'll have a happy mid-year, too, with a baby on the way.)

    2. Thanks, Jody. I sure hope so, as I'm anticipating her arrival. :)

  4. I guess the three of us can form the "Straighten Up!" Club :)