“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” (Walter Anderson)
“Our uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experience molds us into fascinating beings. I hope we can embrace that. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together.” (Linda Thompson)
As my mother’s three year angel-versary approaches (6/25), I can’t help but remember how she always would turn to her red, Betty Crocker cookbook to teach us girls how to cook. My mother was not a stellar cook, by any means. In fact, some of her dishes were so bad, even the dogs snubbed their noses at the “treats” were trying to pawn off on them. I will say, she was a better baker than cook. I always thought the same of myself, until I became an adult. Now, I am a better cook, although I can hold my own in the baking department.
My specialty as a teen, was making peanut butter cookies. My younger sisters always asked me to make them. We didn’t have a kitchen aid, food processor or a lot of fancy gadgets to help us; we did most everything by hand or used a hand mixer, if needed.
That cookbook is such a reminder of my mom. I used it to learn how to convert measurements, how to cook vegetables, and to make homemade brownies. Every Christmas, we would make divinity. I still keep that tradition alive today. Although, in CA, when it rains half of the winter, it can make it challenging for the divinity to set up right. If you’ve never had the fun experience of racing against the clock to get the divinity out of the mixing bowl, via two buttered spoons, onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper, only to have the humidity too high and reduce your divinity clouds into sticky, flat, white puddles…you’re missing out. However, when it turns out just right…it’s a sugary piece of Heaven that melts in your mouth.
Tonight, in 85 degree weather, I stood near a warming 350-degree stove, and prepared the white sauce to go with my scalloped potatoes. Once that was completed, I peeled my potatoes (in batches), sliced them thin on my mandoline slicer, arranged them in a nice scalloped design in the ceramic baking dish and alternated layering with adding the sauce. It was during the layering process, I thought about my mom. She would always remind me to cut the potatoes as thin as possible. Thankfully, I have a mandoline now and I would be lost without it.
I didn’t get the chance to cook for her often as an adult, but when I did, it meant a lot to her. I was the cook in our family, after my died passed several years ago. She loved my Spanish rice. Neither her, nor my sister, Kathi, could cook rice that wasn’t from a microwavable bag.
Since we didn’t have a lot growing up, when my mom would make scalloped potatoes, it was usually with chopped up ham. It was a fairly inexpensive casserole, that fed a family of five. My family now, doesn’t care for the ham in it and they will tolerate the potatoes, as they prefer rice, but they let me make my scalloped potatoes every now and then. Little do they know how much it means to me.
If you don’t already, I encourage you to cook with your kids, siblings, spouse; family. Spend time together. Make memories. Share these moments for generations to come.
“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” (Marilu Henner)
I rarely share information like this, but I shared it with a friend who encouraged me to blog about it. It’s a “you gotta be kidding me” moment that I will bet most moms will laugh at and can completely relate to in one way or another.
It’s been a hectic morning, both at home (before I left for the office) and now at the office. It may only be Wednesday, but I swear this day is trying for a repeat performance of Monday.
I decide it’s time for a restroom break (no it’s not going to get gross). I grab a pantyliner from my purse and bring it with me to the restroom. If you’re a male and clueless as to what a pantyliner is, ask Google, if you don’t want to ask your wife or girlfriend.
I unwrap the pantyliner and discover that it has a beautiful pattern of purple glitter all over it. Obviously, there’s no way I can use it; not like it was a necessity anyway. I discard it and carry on.
I sit and ponder for a moment. Why is there trace amounts of purple glitter in my purse? What did my daughter give me to hold that glitter-fied my purse? How long has it been there? Why haven’t I noticed it before? What else (in the purse) is all sparkly now?
It’s hard enough being a woman at times. When your child(ren) decide to “help” you, even unintentionally, it can be just that more challenging to get through the day.
So while purple is my favorite color, I think I’ll keep the glitter away from sensitive body parts.
Originally posted on Kindnessblog.com. I’ve been there and learning to accept help from strangers is humbling, to say the least. A little kindness goes a long way.
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This is something I witnessed years ago, but I like to remember it whenever I feel like people are too judgmental or what not.
So I was taking the bus home from university and it passes right by the social services building where I live. This woman with a tiny baby in one of those carry seats gets on. She doesn’t look great. Thin. Possibly hasn’t showered or changed her clothes recently. And she’s alternating between angry and upset.
An older woman asked if she was okay and the woman shared how she had left her home town to come to the city to get help because her ex was abusive and a drug abuser. She’d gone to social services to try and get help because she had nothing and no one, and had just run out of formula for her baby. (Hence the upset) But whomever she spoke with…
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I normally don’t add verbiage to my Quote of the Day. However, this one was inspired by a new friend “across the pond”.
“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” (Henri Nouwen)