Coffee and Chocolate

My daughter called lastnight, and we chatted for a while.

She asked, “How is everything?” I said, “Just beautiful! Except, there is no chocolate in this house!” Two females need chocolate available at a moments notice, so that will be fixed.

I’ve been going to bed earlier, and waking up earlier.

This morning, I sat on the porch, and watched the sunrise. It was stunningly beautiful. Then it was time for coffee.

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There is something about pouring hot liquid, into a cracked cup. It’s made of fine china, and allows me to trust that it is going to hold that liquid. I carry it with the saucer underneath, just in case it decides to give in to the crack.

When my daughter and I were packing to leave my marriage, we had one rule of thumb. She wasn’t sure what to take, and what to leave, so I asked her, “Do you love it? If you love it, and will use it, then pack it up.” This caused me to ponder what I had in the house that I loved, but didn’t use.

This china was only used at Christmas. The rest of the time, it was displayed in the china cabinet with all of the other, ‘look but don’t touch’ items. It was time for that to change.

I packed up the china, and we use it like everyday plates.

My daughter knows I’m not big into Halloween, but I love fall. Last year, she bought me a pumpkin covered in sequins. I said, “I’m going to have to find our fall decoration pumpkin, and set it out.” She wasn’t as amused as I was.

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I saw this yesterday, and brought it home. A year ago, I would have walked right by it because it’s real. Taking care of plants this year gave me this philosophy. It will either thrive, or we will enjoy it while it’s here. She says the Boston Ferns on the front porch are so huge, they are obnoxious.

I’m excited about seeing her today, and hearing about her travels. Time to head out for some coffee and chocolate.

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Stand up Straight

I am still learning my way through plants.

The first thing I learned is, the care tags are not always accurate. Plants, just like humans, don’t have the same level of care. You have to watch, and see what they need.

This Asparagus Fern is a great example. Knowing it enjoyed part shade, I kept it out of direct sun, but then I noticed something. While sitting in the shade, the new growth seemed to be reaching, or stretching toward the light.

With the seasons changing, I sat it where it would receive more sun, but only for a few hours. Something else I’ve learned is, everything enjoys light, but not direct sunlight.

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Being in more light, the new growth is standing up straight.

This reminded me of a Meme I came across lastnight.

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Stopping to Go

Today, I gave my daughter the day off from being my daughter.

She harbors these ‘people pleasing’ abilities that will wear off over time. Her father’s hectic life is adding stress to hers, but he needs her more than I do right now. Not wanting to add to an already stressful situation, I encouraged her not to come home today as planned. She was grateful.

It’s my favorite time of day to sit in the middle of the bed. I grabbed one of my favorite platters, and filled it with Gouda, Organic cream cheese with Raspberry Chipotle sauce, Rosemary crackers, and black seedless grapes. The jury is still out whether this is a snack, or an early dinner.

snack

I went to an AA meeting at noon. I was in the midst of cleaning house, and didn’t mind stopping to go, if God saw fit. Walking through the motions of getting ready, I told God, “If you really want me to go, everything will fall into place seamlessly.” At 11:40, I was ready to walk out the door.

Walking into the meeting, I noticed a young lady sitting there that I haven’t seen before. She had made a similar deal with God.

“Okay God, If you want me to go to this meeting, someone will walk in that I need to see.”

Long story short, she asked me to be her temporary sponsor.

This is the second woman in the past 30 days that God has placed in my path to sponsor. I have no clue how to be a sponsor, but I know how to stay sober, and I can coach.

I sat down yesterday, and came across this page in SC Lourie’s new journal. It sums up precisely where I am today.

sclourie1

The photo may be hard to read. Here is what it says.

“I had to stop waiting. Waiting to be that person I always hoped I would become. Waiting for that person to rescue me. Waiting until I felt ready. Waiting until I had healed. Waiting until I got things right. Waiting until I was seen, noticed, acknowledged, or remembered. Waiting for that ultimate day somewhere in the future that would change everything. Soon after, I realised something. You are either waiting, or you are living. I choose to live. To end the wait.” SC Lourie

 

We Always Do

Today is one of those days you just go with the flow of the day itself. My daughter came home yesterday, and will leave tomorrow. She has a busy couple of weeks ahead, thanks to her father, but the last thing I told her lastnight was…

We will get through it. We always do.

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One of my faves taken 9/19/2015. 

Transitioning to Organic

A friend made a comment about the Food for One post.

She said, “Buying all organic is expensive!”

I used to think so too, so what happened? Just like every form of change, it took baby steps in the right direction.

The first time we bought Tillamook cheese. My daughter and I were standing in an organic supermarket staring at the large block for $7.00. This young lady rushes up next to us, with a baby strapped to her front, a toddler by the hand, and grabs a block of cheese. She looked at us and said, “It’s the main reason I come in here. Worth every penny!”

We use that cheese for everything, and it grates beautifully. I stopped buying pre-grated cheese because of the caking agent used to prevent clumping.

When we ran out of milk, we replaced it with Organic. We used to drive to a local dairy farm and buy raw milk. If you have access to that you are in heaven. Raw milk has a head of cream, so you are getting your milk and creamer in one.

It takes a long time for 2 people to go through a gallon of milk, and the raw milk was sold in gallons. We couldn’t drink it before it expired, so we opted for a half-gallon of Organic. It’s the same price, or less, than a store brand gallon of milk.

Whenever we would run out of a normal item, we would replace it with an Organic, or farm raised version. We raised chickens for years, and learned about fresh eggs. We raised certain chickens for colored eggs.

eggs

The shell color doesn’t matter. They are just pretty.

Years later, our pantry is not full of junk. We rarely buy anything canned, or food in a box. We try to stick to the 5 ingredient rule. If the item has more than 5 ingredients listed, it stays at the store. It may have more than 5, but we make sure we know what they are. Oreos excluded.

Feel the Music

This song came up in my Facebook memories today.

It was 4 years ago that I posted it, and it still resonates with me. Brad Paisley is singing it as a country-style love song, would be my guess, but I took it as a generalization.

I was talking to someone yesterday about my passion to help people lay down their phones. It’s pretty out of control today, and may look insurmountable, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. His response was, “You can’t change it.”

That comment struck a match and lit a flame inside me.

I met a girlfriend this morning for coffee. She uninstalled Facebook and Messenger from her phone last week. Today, she proudly announced, “I didn’t even bring my phone!” I was so happy for her, and felt silly for bringing mine!

Maybe it’s not the world that needs changing. Maybe it’s us.

Cherish the Moment

The weekend is here, and I hope you have moments.

I am blessed to enjoy moments everyday, but for some, that is not possible yet. To relax your body, and mind to the point of seeing what is happening right in front of you.

My fave moment this week by far, was with my daughter.

She came home Monday, and was mentally and physically exhausted from her weekend of travel. It was late afternoon, as I stretched out across my bed; gazing out the window to clear my mind, and relax. She came in my room wrapped in one of her favorite blankets. We call it ‘bonding’ time.

She curled up at the head of the bed, and laid against a mass of pillows. She started telling me everything about her weekend, as I laid at the foot of the bed and listened.

We laughed at things that happened, and were somber about others.

In moments, time is passing, but it feels very still.

I couldn’t hear her voice anymore, as I looked over to see her asleep. She had talked it all out, and now she could rest. I tiptoed out of the room, taking the moment with me.

Food For One (Toasted Pimento Cheese on Wasa)

My daughter and I prepare most everything we eat.

As I was making this tonight, I wondered how many other people prepare a meal for one. It’s easier to grab something at a restaurant, or fast food chain, but for me, that gets expensive, and I’m particular about what goes in my body.

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Toasted Pimento Cheese and Taheebo Tea

My tried and true cookbook is 100 Days of Real Food.

Have you ever gone by the recipe, and it didn’t make enough, or it made too much? I haven’t found that happening with these. I feel successful when I cook.

This recipes are designed for 2 adults and 2 children, (her family), and I made this in its entirety, to have some later. The recipes are easily cut in half, for when my daughter is not here, or make the whole thing, and freeze what’s left.

After leaving North Carolina, and moving to Texas, it was difficult to find good Pimento Cheese. The author of this cookbook is from Charlotte, NC, and she knows my heart.

Use Organic ingredients if you can:

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I grate half smoked and half sharp cheddar. Tillamook brand)

1/2 cup cream cheese softened

3 Tablespoons diced, jarred pimento, with juice (I use olives instead)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon Paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 or 2 drops of hot sauce

Whole-grain crackers, for serving (such as Ak-Mak brand. I use Wasa)

Mix all ingredients, except crackers, with a wooden spoon.

The original recipe says to spread the crackers, lay them on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes.

Instead, I lightly broil them until melted. Along with my evening meal, or before bed, I drink a cup of Taheebo Tea to elevate my immune system. A couple of droppers full, in a cup of hot water with honey is very soothing. Enjoy!

The More I Learn, the Less I Know.

I’ve read more books this year, than three years combined.

I’m reading Melodie Beattie’s, Finding Your Way Home, for the second time. It made me desire for more people to have this level of self-awareness, and self-love. When I began this Blog, it was to show people that a beautiful life is attainable. That was my goal, so now that it’s achieved, what’s next?

I really don’t know, but I’m willing to be patient, and find out.

This year, I detached from Social Media. It was very difficult to do, but it’s done. Three times last week, I left the house without my phone. I didn’t turn the truck around to go get it, and had a beautiful time in town connecting with people.

I’ve become a part of the AA community again. Online is not the same as in person. You get to laugh, and hear others laugh, and that hug at the end of a meeting is irreplaceable.

Technology is helpful in the world, but it can’t replace the human touch.

I found it to be easier to post an encouraging Meme everyday, than to spend time sitting with an actual person.

Memes are not moments.

Every new beginning, starts with an ending. Are people willing to draw a line in the sand, and end the life they have to begin again? I don’t know. It takes grit and grace to do so.

The list is long of what I don’t know, but time reveals all. If you asked me, “How long does it take to attain a beautiful life?”, my initial answer would be, “Five years.” Thinking about it more in-depth, it took my whole life up to this point.

Letting Go of One Connection, for Another

Some days require a do-over. The dogs were up way too early. I hadn’t had enough coffee to deal with their playfulness. I let them get some of their energy out, and in their houses they went. It was that easy to find some peace.

I drove down to the corner store to grab a cup of coffee. Walking in, I notice a table full of people. They are usually there in the mornings, and this brought a smile to my face. We said our, “Good mornings”, as I took a look at their table.

There were no cell phones in sight. The newspaper was opened to the crossword puzzle, like it was a team effort to fill it in. They were laughing, talking, and enjoying time together.

As I was walking toward the door to exit, an elderly man walked in and said, “Good Morning Ms. Barbara.” I gave him a hug, and he grunted like I squeezed him too hard.

Getting into my truck, I spot two women on horses. They are prancing through the grass in front of the Post Office. I wished I had my phone to take a picture, but it was at home.

Once I returned home, I drank my coffee, and called a friend. We spent an hour talking, and making a game plan for the week. We are meeting tomorrow to implement some small changes in her life to regain her independence.

I let the dogs outside, and stood on the porch. It was almost time to drench the Boston Ferns. They are ginormous! Denver, one of our dogs, acted like he was listening intently to something. I could barely hear a woman’s voice, and then I heard two women talking. It was the women on horses!

They came to a halt, and turned the horses around, bringing them up to stand by my front yard gate. What a beautiful sight. They said, “Good Morning! We love your ferns. They are huge!” I smiled and thanked them for their kindness. They asked if I rode, and I told them, “Yes. I used to.” They said, “We have one more horse that needs a rider if you’re interested.” I laughed, thanked them, and will ponder it.

Life is happening right in front of us, and I am connected.