It was our turn in the class snack rotation at my daughter’s pre-school. She took some carrots with Ranch dressing, pretzels, string cheese and juice boxes (her choice of items – I was extremely impressed!) My daughter’s teacher, Ms. Donna, asked me what my “secret” was for the world’s best-tasting Ranch dressing. She said she almost just drank it from the bowl!
Most of us know that “Ranch” is not created equally. I don’t know how many times we searched in vain for the perfect Ranch dressing over the years. We tried off brands and name brands, as well as all of the fat-free, low-fat and full-fat versions on the shelf. We then ventured into the Hidden Valley Ranch powder packets for the popular dip. We bought the “Dips” powder variety and used all types of mayo and Miracle Whip in desperation.
It still wasn’t right.
Then, one day the clouds opened and the angels sang a beautiful mayo-melody! We found the perfect combination for an all-time fav. Oh, sure, you want me to just share it with you now and save you all the time, energy and jars of creamy wrongness? Um – okay. Here it is:
1) Hidden Valley “The Original Ranch SALAD DRESSING & SEASONING MIX”
2) MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT – MUST NOT BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER à 1 cup of REAL Hellmann’s mayonnaise
3) 1 cup of milk (2% or whole)
Just whisk the ingredients together and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes and you will be joining Ms. Donna for a toast with a tall glass of Ranch! (hee hee) So, the “secret” is the REAL Hellmann’s mayo. It makes all the difference, I promise.
I’m all about REAL. REAL tears rolling down my cheek when I laugh too hard. REAL feelings that I share with my kids and hubby. REAL words of inspiration on a day that I need it most.
Then, there are those who have a REAL sense of style – hey, I’ve seen ‘em on Pinterest! Wow! However, my 2 year-old daughter DOESN’T have much style quite yet. If a shirt is purple, then she wants to wear purple shorts and purple socks to match (whatever Barney shade they may be). Daddy taught her this not-so-stylish “matching” game. Thanks, hon!
My son was kidding around the other day and pretended to be me on the phone when he was talking to my daughter on the other end (do I REALLY sound like that?). She didn’t buy it for a minute and said, “You aren’t the REAL mom!” Awwww! Our children really do know our voices and I just love that.
Oh, I do have a cute story about REAL gratitude. My cousin, Kelly, had a funny facebook post the other day. She is an amazing nurse with a servant’s heart and she works for a home health agency. One of her patients was so incredibly thankful for her care one day that she gave my cousin…wait for it…wait for it…a jar of Miracle Whip. Yes, nothing says thank you like the zesty zip of Miracle Whip. It cracked me up! Now, maybe if it was REAL Hellmann’s mayonnaise….hmmmm. No – seriously. The patient most probably had nothing else to give. That’s when giving means the most.
I also appreciate REAL (funny) words of wisdom (from a recent e-mail). Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner - it goes like this…
Top Ten things my mother taught me:
1) RELIGION – “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
2) LOGIC – “Because I said so and that’s why.”
3) CONTORTIONISM – “Will you just look at that dirt on the back of your neck?!”
4) STAMINA – “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”
5) HYPOCRISY – “If I told you once, I’ve told you a zillion times – don’t exaggerate!”
6) ESP – “Put your sweater on – don’t you think I know when you’re cold?!”
7) IRONY – “Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
8) OSMOSIS – “Close your mouth and eat your supper.”
9) ANTICIPATION – “You just wait until we get home.”
10) MEDICAL SCIENCE – “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they’re going to get stuck that way.”
On a more serious note, I appreciate REAL courage. I recently read about a nine year-old boy aiming for a paralympic gold medal. You can check out Cody McCasland’s story and pictures of his twenty sets of artificial legs here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1345874/Dreaming-Paralympic-gold-Sporty-boy-9-20-artificial-legs-compete-event.html If we have legs that work, now is a great time to thank God for them. You are incredible, Cody.
Another story of REAL determination and motivation was shared with me by my sister-in-law, Kerri. Beverly Kearney was in a horrific car accident in 2002 and wasn’t supposed to walk, much less survive the crash. Kerri was this spirited woman’s physical therapist. And, as it states in the article title, failure was not an option for her. Check out
’s story for a dose of inspiration: http://espn.go.com/espnw/journeys-victories/7754857/failure-not-option-texas-longhorn-track-field-coach-beverly-kearney Beverly
On a final note, I will leave you with a few bits of REAL insight. Every challenge in our life will either make us bitter or better. Beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always beautiful. The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.