Today I am making an exception to my rule and writing this article on Sunday and that is basically against my beliefs. I have always been taught that Sunday is a day of rest but I rested so much on Friday and Saturday I had to write my article today. Shame on me.

This week has been a pretty good one and for the first time since my accident I slept ten hours last night. I pray that means I am finally healing. Woke up refreshed and feeling good. I went to Sunday School and church and had friends over for lunch.

On Thursday of this week I had a phone call that really made my whole month. I had been told that an old friend, Al Jardine, had a brain tumor and had possibly passed away. When I answered my call a male voice said, "The story you were told about my demise was absolutely untrue." It was Al and we visited for an hour. He is one of the Beach Boys group and a great fellow.

It seems I am regaining my energy and trying to do some cooking. It is ironic what you cannot do with one arm missing but so far I have learned to deal with my disability.

BLT salad

12 ounces uncooked macaroni 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped 3 medium tomatoes, diced 1 pound cooked bacon, crumbled 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Serve room temperature or chilled. (If making ahead add bacon just before serving for crispness.)

Broccoli salad

3 stalks fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces 1 head cauliflower, raw, cut into bite-size pieces 1 large handful raisins 6 slices cooked bacon, break into small pieces 1 cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup sugar (I used Splenda) 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar Mix and eat.

Baked potato soup

5 medium baking potatoes, cubed 1 medium onion, chopped 3 cups water 1 teaspoons salt 2 cups heavy cream 4 tablespoons butter Combine potatoes, onion, water and salt. Cook until tender, Mash mixture thoroughly and add cream and butter. Return to head and heat through. Garnish with bacon bits, sour cream and shredded cheddar.

Since I am given orders about what to do and not do with my arm I decided that salads were simple and suitable to the hot temperatures. The soup was tried out because I love potato soup and it was simple also.

So my readers will be able to enjoy my working my way back to normality and when the weather gets cold we will have a bunch of winter recipes. Don't forget that this is the time of year to begin stocking up for winter. Buy things on sale, soups, hamburger and things you will use often when you are snowed in.

God bless and I will see you next week.

Dixie Ryan lives in Odessa and has enjoyed sharing her cooking talents and secrets with readers for many years.