Adjusting to Gluten Free-Mashed Potato Pancakes

So many of us are finding out we have a slight, moderate or severe problem with gluten products.  I thought I was one of those people who was good and could eat anything I wanted.  My brother told me to watch my gluten because his entire family had problems eating gluten.  Well, not me I am good.  I wasn’t listening to my brother, he was wrong this time.  So I went on with my regular diet and didn’t think another thing about it.

The problem with not taking good advice is you shut out the possibility you could have the same problem as your sibling.  Over time I blamed some of my ailments on allergies or a cold, finding out later some of the symptoms I was having was symptoms for people with gluten allergies.  Now, I am not having major problems, but I am taking care and watching what gluten I eat.  I limit my gluten intake and am selective what I eat and when.

Today I had some leftover mashed potatoes, and I remembered my mom making potato pancakes when we were kids.  The problem with the old recipe was it had flour in it.  I thought about how I could make the potato pancakes without flour, and it came to me, shredded cheddar cheese.  I substituted a half cup of cheese for the flour, and it worked great.  It also added a little extra flavor to the pancakes and made them a little crispier around the edges.

As we get older, we find more and more there are more ailments, aches, and pains in our body than we had as younger adults.  Sometimes we have to change our diets and work harder to stay healthy.  Adjusting our diet is hard.  Sometimes it is like being an alcoholic, or someone hooked on drugs, it is hard beating the habit of eating toast for breakfast every morning or having a Big Mac sandwich.  It is an every hour struggle to remind ourselves to cut back or stop eating the food making us sick.

You aren’t alone if you find yourself adjusting to new diets, giving up things you have loved all your life.  I am sure if you ask a friend they are battling the same problem with something they used to be able to eat.  Talk to them and work together to be strong and tackle the problem.  We are all tougher than we think we are.  We sometimes fall off the wagon and have to start over, but that is okay.  Starting over is a show of our strength and determination.

Age changes our bodies and changes our ways of thinking and how we do things.  Pay attention to your body and find creative ways in your diet to eliminate food allergies bothering you.  Join a group online and talk to people with the same problems.  Who knows you may make some new friends.

Have a great weekend and travel safe.

Pam

Mashed Potato Pancakes.

http://www.justataste.com/cheesy-leftover-mashed-potato-pancakes-recipe/

 

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How to Market Your Project

The other day I was asked how I market the businesses I work with and my personal projects.  That question was tough for me because I have been doing this so long it is a habit for me to do what I do.  Over the years things have changed in the marketing and promotions department because now we have social media.

When I first started booking shows for festivals and events the best way to reach our target audience was fliers and the newspaper.  The local radio stations would run Public Service Announcements, P.S.A., and did a weekly talk show with local residents on things happening in their world. When I worked for WAXC/WZOQ radio station, I did their weekly talk show and interviewed the local Mayors, festival and fair organizers, and other noteworthy residents.  Television and radio stations are still required to donate a certain amount of time each week to public service.  Local television stations run event calendars for local fundraisers to post their information. Some television stations do a daily segment in their newscasts highlighting local events or people.

When you start up a new business or want to promote your present business, you need to look for your target audience.  It doesn’t do any good to advertise baby diapers at the Senior Council on Aging.  Figure out your demographic and then search all the places you can get your message out to those people.  If you want to put your product in a local retail store you need to put everything together for the presentation. Show them that your product will bring revenue to them and bring in more foot traffic.  Every business is looking to grow and expand their sales.  Bringing in your product should not be something that decreases their sales because of you.

Another idea to market your product is conventions, Home Shows, craft shows, etc.  You purchase a space and set up your products.  Make sure you don’t only have product there.  Use your Microsoft Office programs and create a flier to send home with them.  If that consumer isn’t ready to purchase something right now, they may decide next week they want to buy your item.  If they don’t have your contact information or website information you just lost a sale.  Never let a potential client walk away without your contact information.

Contact information is another thing to think about.  Business cards.  Make sure your business cards are professional looking, clean and the information is easy to find.  Too many graphics make for a messy looking business card.  Use a flier to put graphics and information on, or a postcard.  Keep the business card professional looking.

This past year I took a class on website design and a website is so easy to create these days.  I have used Site Builder and Wix.  Wix is free, but the problem is you can’t find your website if you don’t pay to have it listed on Google.  You WANT your website listed on Google, Yahoo, Bing,  FoxFire, etc. so people can find you.  Make sure you list all the keywords to find your website.  How many times do you put three or four words in the Google search to find something?  If you are selling something, use the words defining your product and find out what is out there, what pops up when you hit the search button.  This helps you to refine the keywords you need.

I am a risk taker with my marketing and advertising.  When I started to market The Silver Heart book, I looked outside the box.  I have a book called The Silver Heart so now what?  I contacted Montana Silversmiths and sent them a prospectus on The Silver Heart and one of their necklaces marketed together.  I needed a silver heart necklace on the front cover, and I wanted something people could purchase.  When it came to advertising on YouTube, I knew I needed background music.  I had an original song for a former client, and I asked the songwriters if I could use the song for my book.  They were more than happy to let me use the song and give them some extra promotions as well.  Think outside the box.

Running a business is never easy.  These days there is always someone out there who has the latest program to contact more potential customers or have a social media department that does nothing all day, but post on all social media sites.  In 2017 being shy and non-communicative on social media does not get you new clients or people looking at your product.  If you are going to a trade show, post it!  Get more people there to see your product.   I am always searching the internet for more places to post information.

I hope this helps some of you and helps those that ask me how I do it.  I have over 30 years of experience in marketing and promotions, and I can’t claim to know it all.  I am learning things every day.  Good luck with everything in 2017 and think outside the box.

Pam Egbert

 

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They Took My Truck – Memories

Last week my brother called and told me they stole my dad’s truck out of the hotel parking lot he was staying at.  Apparently, they brought in a tow truck because the alarms did not go off in the truck or on my brother’s phone.  You would think they would take the Camaro, Cadillac or Corvette parked there, but they took the truck.

My brother has owned the truck for over ten years, so it is not new. Even though my brother owned the truck, it will always be Dad’s.  We called it Dad’s on a regular basis.  When he told me, I was just heart sick.  It is a truck.  What am I so upset about?  It is a material object and can be replaced. Yes, it can, but not the memories that go with the truck.

When I was talking to a friend tonight, we discussed the truck.  My brother sent me a song idea, and I made the call to a songwriter friend. We talked about the truck and all the memories that go with the truck.  I remember dad having Minneapolis Moline parts in the back of the truck for one reason or another.  He had a farm truck, and he had the blue Dodge he used to take on vacation or tractor hunting expeditions.  Dad would head out west, driving down back roads looking for old tractors.  He would find an old tractor sitting three feet deep in weeds and would talk to the farmer about buying it.  Dad would then bring the tractor back to Ohio and would start the remodel on it.  I can still picture the truck sitting in the driveway with the trailer behind it.  An old tractor sitting there waiting to be put in the workshop to start a new life.

The blue Dodge was also the truck Dad would use when he was building the cabin at the pond.  I remember many days pulling up to the pond and seeing the truck sitting outside the cabin.  What we didn’t know at the time was Dad had cancer, and he was determined to finish that cabin.  Ever since he moved back from Colorado, he talked about building a pond and a cabin was in the conversation when the pond was dug.  Many days I would go back to the pond and his truck would be there, and he would be sleeping on the couch or sitting on the front porch enjoying the view.

If you talk to any farmer or person who has owned a truck, they will tell you stories about their favorite trucks.  I remember the first truck I owned was an old Chevy truck, stick shift.  The bed of the truck was wood, and it had a few rust holes in the body.  I was just married, and it was my first truck.  There were holes in the floor board when I bought a new truck, but it had served its time, and it went on to someone else to drive.  I remember hearing the story of Billy Currington and how he had kept his dad’s truck.   How much the Chevy truck means to him.

Memories fade, but when you own something that keeps the memories alive you tend to hang on to that item.  I have my Dad’s office chair, and I can’t image any other chair being behind my desk.  Dad’s truck is out there somewhere, and maybe one day we will get it back, but we are not convinced that will ever happen.  They targeted that truck and they had someone who wanted it so it is long gone.

Comment made:  “Bastard took my truck.  I miss my truck!”   Great title for a song and video lol

 

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Santa Donations for Gatlinburg

For the past week, there has been a lot of focus on Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Many of us have visited Gatlinburg over the years and enjoyed the mountains and everything they offer.  This past summer I took my family to the Smoky Mountains to show them things my parents introduced me to and to enjoy the time together. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have so many memories for many people, it is as if it has this hold on you and makes you come back year after year.  The low clouds give the mountains the feeling of having smoke hanging over them.

Smoke was hanging over them the week of November  28th as several fires were started, and the 70 mile an hour winds pushed the embers over the Smoky Mountains.  Homes were lost, resorts were burned to the ground, and people were trapped in hotels at the top of the mountains.  There were over 2000 evacuated to safer places in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.  The news covered the fires and followed families who were looking for their loved ones for days, to later find out they didn’t make it out of their homes.

Dolly Parton grew up in Sevier County, and she took it upon herself to start several fundraising efforts to help those who lost their homes and their lively hood.  The town mayor not only lost his house, but he lost his business as well.  Hundreds of people are now unemployed due to resorts burning down, businesses lost and hotels were lost to the fire.  Dolly’s foundation has set up a fund to help the residents of Sevier County get back on their feet.

People and companies from all over the United States are sending in food, water, Gatorade, clothing, toys, pet food, and other miscellaneous items for those that need to replace their possessions.  One of the local news stations said they need canned meat and things they can make meals. There have been all kinds of protein bars, breakfast bars and such sent to the volunteer fire department, but they need things to make meals with.

This morning they announced they were in need of new books and toys for the children to have a Christmas.  The items are to be sent to the Sevier County Volunteer Rescue  Department, and they will have the parents come in and pick out what they need.  I called my publisher and asked if I could send 20 books, Galon the Northern Pintail Duck, down so the kids would have something more from Santa on Christmas morning.  The answer was yes.  I knew he had a big heart and I knew it was something I wanted to do.   I am also sending a hard copy of the book so they can donate it to the local library for the kids to read.

The hardest part of a disaster such as this is the kids.  They don’t understand why they don’t have their toys anymore, or why they have to sleep on a cot at the fire department instead of in their bed.  Kids are resilient, but in times like this your heart goes out to them, and you just want to tell them it is going to be okay.

Pam Egbert

 

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Pay It Forward

I was just on my Facebook page, and a friend posted a story telling of her trip to McDonalds today.  She was in line, and she decided to take a leap of faith and pay for the order behind her.  She had no idea what the total was going to be, just that she wanted to Pay It Forward for someone.  The total for the order was only $1.07, but she had no idea if that was the only money the person had or if they had already eaten breakfast and just made a drink stop.  She felt good because she knew it gave the person a smile.

This time of year we tend to reach out and touch people more than any other time of the year.  Christmas is about giving and seeing the excitement on a person’s face when they open the present or see the surprise.

I tend to get excited about purchasing special gifts for people at Christmas time.  The family is fun to shop for when you don’t worry about if it is on their Christmas list.  LOL   One year I did a pajama party for my kids.  Everyone received new slippers, pajamas or men’s jammy pants, and socks.  Most people get so caught up in their normal day life they don’t go out and purchase new pajamas for themselves.  The slippers were the nicer ones with the rubber soles on them.  I know many people slide their slippers on to go out to let the dogs out or get their mail.  The kids were excited because I made them open those gifts before anything else and they changed to be more comfortable during the day.

Pay It Forward has been given to me several times at McDonalds and other fast food restaurants.  I have surprised my friends when I snatched their bill out of their hand to pay for their meal, at lunch meetings.  They do it for me as well so we take turns Paying It Forward.

One day I was at Hobby Lobby with my mom, and there was a young girl behind me who was purchasing things for her wedding.  Her mom was trying to pay for some of it, and the girl told her mom she wanted to do it herself.  I could see they were on a limited income and I watched as she was counting everything she had in her cart to see if she had enough money.  I handed the cashier my phone and told her to use the 40 percent off coupon for this young lady’s order.  The cashier smiled and said she would be glad to.  The young girl smiled and said thank you, with tears in her eyes.   All the items were from the wedding section, and I guessed she would get 40 percent off the entire cart of goods.   My mom asked me what I did, and I told her, she didn’t get the smartphone concept and instant coupons lol.

Those few minutes in my life was a time I have never forgotten.  Each year I find one person I do something special for.  One year I sent McDonald’s coupons to a couple in Texas.   I knew they were on a fixed income and didn’t get to go out much.  She called me several weeks later and told me they went to McDonalds for a date night.  Lura and Arthur ordered two hamburgers, a large fries, and two glasses of water.  I knew she loved her Coke and I asked why they didn’t get their own fries and pop.  She told me if they watched what they spent with the coupons they could go out several times.  They are a proud couple and would never take money from anyone.  Several years later they were struggling with paying for his heart meds, and I sent them a Walmart card so they could purchase some ham, potatoes and the chocolate cake she kept telling me one day she would be able to afford, a treat for the both of them.  She called crying because I had given them enough to purchase their Christmas dinner.

We get so caught up in our own worlds sometimes we don’t listen to our friends and neighbors and miss the little things, like the fact they had not been out on a date night for many years or the cost of the heart medicine was going to keep them from purchasing a Christmas dinner. All these gifts didn’t cost me more than $25.  I was laid off at the time, but I had food on the table and I could afford to give something to them to make their Christmas happier.

Paying It Forward does not have to be monetary.  You can help someone sweep off their sidewalks, shovel their sidewalk, or take them to the store to do some shopping.  You can be a secret “Pay It Forward” and put a basket of fruit on their porch or send them a gift card and don’t put your name on the card.  If you are an artist, you could draw/paint a picture of their favorite pet or take pictures of their house/pet/children with your camera and give it to them for Christmas.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and Pay it Forward today.  Let that person waiting to get into traffic out, smile and wave at them.  🙂

 

Pam Egbert

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Samples We Receive in the Mail

How many of you receive random samples in the mail?  Lately, I have been finding samples of different things in my Amazon orders and other purchases I have made online.  I think this is a great way to get your product out to the masses and let them try something they may not purchase off a big box shelf.

You have not seen me make a recommendation on a sample until today.  I received a sample of the TRESemme’ Expert Step 1 and TRESemme’ Expert Step 2 hair shampoo and conditioner.  I was skeptical at the least when the directions said to put conditioner in first and then shampoo my hair, but I was willing to try it and see what happened.

When I read the back of the package I thought I was going to have to leave the conditioner in for 5 minutes or more to get the soft texture they were talking about, I have seen the commercials about the product as well.  🙂  It was only one minute I had to leave the conditioner in and then rinse out before I applied the shampoo.  The shampoo was thick and it did create a lot of lather for the amount I used.  I was surprised again because I thought the conditioner would affect how the shampoo worked.

After I towel dried my hair I applied my normal leave-in conditioner and I applied none of the products normally used.  My hair dried soft and it was not fuzzy as it normally is this time of the year.  The natural curls were soft and I didn’t even have to curl my hair to reduce the frizz.

Would I use this product again?  Yes, I would.  I loved the fact you didn’t have to use much product to get the results you want.  Which means I would save money. If you try it let me know how you like it.  It is a retraining process of not using shampoo and then conditioner.

Have a great week!

Pam

 

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Ohio State University Tragedy

This morning many Ohio State University students returned to classes after a long Thanksgiving weekend with their parents and family.  Last night they left home and traveled back to Columbus excited to be back in class and excited because their football team won against Michigan on Saturday, a big rivalry team for OSU. Most were still excited about the win against Michigan and were excited to see their friends returning to campus or the dorm rooms.  Then the unthinkable happened this morning, and someone decided to run their car into a building, pulled out a knife and started to stab students.  Nine people were injured, and the Columbus Police Department shot and killed the assailant.

The last thing you want to hear as a parent is a report that someone on the campus, where your child goes to college, welding a knife.  He is using the butcher knife to stab anyone in his path, and you don’t know which building your child is in at that time.  As a parent, I just can’t imagine seeing that on the news.  With social media being a right here and now news source most students did not have time to call home and let their family know what was going on while the news hit.   There was a page set up on Facebook for students and other people to sign in and let others know they are fine.  I have read posts from parents informing their family and friends their children have checked in and are fine.

No one knows what went through this person’s mind and why today is the day he decided to get up and try to murder students on the OSU campus.  We can only hope it is an isolated instance and there is not a group planning this attack. Ohio State University has set up a protocol for the students and everyone did as they were told, hiding and finding shelter. The campus faculty was prepared, in case something like this happened at Ohio State.   OSU police department was close by, which meant there was a very quick response to the call for help.  The Columbus Police Department showed up minutes later and took over the crime scene. Because of the Ohio State University’s forethought, more students were not hurt or killed. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those injured.  We hope they find out why the assailant decided to attack the students and this is an isolated incident.  We can only hope this comes to a stop and these attacks across the country become a thing of the past.

Pam