The power of love

 

 

I hope that you feel loved today. Valentines Day is one of those days when commercialism can take over and you feel that you don’t measure up or that you are not included. Maybe you have a date, maybe you don’t, maybe you are getting flowers, maybe you are not. Those are things that can be fun but don’t make your decision to feel loved today be based on them.

 

 

I learned a long time ago that in order to be happy I need to own the power that I have, use it, and then live with the decisions that I make. For me, I feel less of a victim to the negative aspects of life that I cannot control. I have said it before, I choose to love- it is a choice that I can make no matter what is going on in the world, my world. I don’t value romantic love over familial, religious, or other types of love. I realize that there are different types of love and that I can have them all or not; to me, that is incredibly fulfilling and powerful.

 

 

 

 

Valentines Day is important to me because it reminds me of the people and things that I love.  The bonus is that I mostly get loved back. I’m sending some of that love out to you.  Happy Valentines Day!

 Girly girl bear and friend

Happy to be here…

 

I don’t want to believe that the new year is here already but it is.  It’s not that I don’t look forward to the future because I do. Besides, the future is coming no matter what I think.

I guess that much like the warm sun on a summer’s day, I want to bask in the glory of good times. I have learned that no matter what is going on in my life, good or bad,that I am blessed, lucky, or what ever you choose to call it.  I am grateful to be alive to face what ever life throws towards me.

I may not win every game or get what I want or feel very cheerful but I sure am happy to be here to lose, complain and feel what I’m feeling. In my mind it is all good, even when it isn’t. 

I was enjoying the company of one of my cats the other day and observed how he arched his back and took every bit of pleasure from the rub that I gave him. He didn’t know how soon it would stop but he was going to enjoy it while it lasted.  I love to plan ahead but my cat showed me that being in the moment was just as important as thinking ahead.

During the Christmas season I was very busy and had the pleasure of seeing friends and family. I was able to have a Christmas tree, lights, and good food. I am extremely grateful for all of these things. I realize that there are many people who are suffering or are unhappy at this time of year. I think of them and pray that life will improve for them. I don’t deserve happiness more than they do, no one does. I understand that life ebbs and flows. I have been very ill, down, and unhappy. I may end up there again even though I don’t want to. Worry does not change any situation and preparation can only do so much. The good thing is that situations are not static and there is reason to hope for the best.

Happy New Year to all. It is another chance at life and another chance at contentment. I didn’t want the enjoyment I had last year to pass and of course, it did! Like the clock on New Years Eve, time moves on. I’m over it and I am happy to be here…with you. 

 

 

I’m thankful…

I hope that anyone reading this post believes that they have something to be thankful for. I know that this time of year can be hard for many because they feel sadness while others are happy. I hope that you find the happiness that you seek.

Today, I am thankful. I love and I am loved. I am grateful that I can love despite the disappointments and challenges that I have had in life. I’m not picky- love of all types is important not just romantic, not just family, not just faith there is no “just”- it’s all good.

Happy Thanksgiving….

 

Good times, good food, oh my goodness!

 

Hello friends and visitors! Last Saturday, November 5th, my daughter Kimba http://kimbas2cents.blogspot.com/2011/11/naturals-night.html#comments hosted a night of fun. She called the gathering ” Naturals Night.”

Those of us who attended talked about the ways in which we care for our hair. When we weren’t doing that, we ate tons of yummy food and had delicious drinks as well. The best  part of the evening was a visit by a manicurist who did all of our nails. Kimba topped the evening off with adorable gift cartons filled with homemade lip gloss, chocolate lollipops, and a “Be Natural” candle.

                                                                                    

Now I don’t want to brag, but I’m going to- that was my daughter who gave that great party!  I did make a contribution to the awesomeness though, I made baked Mac & Cheese. Here’s the recipe:  

For a 9×11 pan of mac & cheese you will need:

1 box of elbow or little shells pasta
4 oz yellow sharp cheddar cheese- shredded
4 0z mild cheddar or colby  cheese- shredded
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
4oz canned skim milk& 4oz water for 8 oz total of milk

For seasoning use black pepper, garlic salt and any salt free herb mixture amounting to about 1 tbsp combined.

Cook the pasta and drain it. You can make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan on medium-low heat, add the flour and about a tsp of the spices. Stir and add about 1/4 of the milk, keep stirring to prevent lumps, add another 1/4 of the milk and about  1/2 of the cheese till the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened. Add the rest of the milk till smooth. Continuous stirring is important to prevent the sauce from burning. You can always add more milk if you think the sauce is too thick. Add in the rest of the spices and give it a good stir. Turn off the heat.

Pour the sauce into the pasta and stir it up covering all of the pasta then transfer to a baking dish. Pour the remaining cheese over the top of the dish and cook in a 350 degree oven until the cheese on top is melted and the dish is bubbly. This usually takes about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

 

 

The busiest time of year…

 

I was thinking about the activities that I take part in at this time of year and for a moment I was overwhelmed. The idea of being busy is nothing new we are all busy. Like many of you I am a worker/small business owner, spouse, parent, social justice activist and church goer. In between all of that I also try to take care of my health, maintain friendships, take care of animals and participate in volunteer activities. All of these actions are year round but with the sun setting earlier and earlier every day…

 Thanksgiving and Christmas are approaching. I have great and fun activities ahead. There will be meals to cook, there are always crafts to make or products to design. My creativity and energy level are being challenged yet I am thankful for the opportunities.

O.k. I’m over it now. I feel happy to have a very full life. I don’t take it for granted, in fact, I marvel at it. Thanksgiving and Christmas are looming- no last minute stuff here! I like to plan and then act on those plans.

The question now is, what do I do next?

Kim

 

Change is constant…

We all have a lot on our minds these days. There are  a million things to do and places to go. So much that happens is out of our control. Just look at a newspaper or listen to the radio. Media of all sorts is reminding us of how scared we should be that everything is changing.

Well I have decided to embrace the fact that change is constant. Change reminds me that I am alive. No today is not the same as yesterday even if I am doing many of the same things that I did yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity- to do a lot or to do a little.

 

Accepting the reality that change is constant has been good for me. I am realizing that change will happen no matter what I do or don’t do so I don’t have to feel bad or sad about it. I can control what I can and when I can’t, accept it. This isn’t an original idea by any means but it seems more true to me now than it ever has. Maybe it is the season or watching the leaves change, my kittens grow, or the 20 tomatoes I just discovered growing in my garden today. Who knew that just before an October snow storm I would suddenly have this crop of tomatoes that I can’t pick?    

I can’t control time or change but I can look at both with renewed enthusiasm. I am grateful for happy surprises and joyful times. I can even provide some of them. My most important lesson has been to enjoy and accept both when they come my way and to “take” the time to do so….

Today is almost the last day of breast cancer awareness month. I have a lot to say on the subject and I’m a survivor. I won’t do a post on it today but through my daughter Kimba  http://kimbas2cents.blogspot.com/  and our good friend Marilyn http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/  you can watch  two different video’s featuring me and one of my projects. Please take a look, they have wonderful, positive and fun sites. Enjoy the change of scenery!   

 

If you can stand the heat

 

 

The new stove is in and cooking is even more of a pleasure. I told you that I would share the recipe for the first meal that I cooked on the stove. I cooked stuffed shells and made a tomato sauce from scratch (but you can use a prepared sauce.) 

Ingredients:

 

15 large pasta shells, 8 oz, ricotta cheese,  6 oz. mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion, olive oil, butter, 8 oz. mushrooms, 3 cups of cherry tomatoes, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 tbsp sugar. 

Here’s the recipe:

Sauce:  Chop and saute 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 onion in a tablespoon or so of olive oil with a teaspoon of butter until translucent. Add chopped mushrooms and whole cherry tomatoes. There will be a good amount of liquid from the mushrooms and tomatoes- don’t pour it out! Add tomato paste, sugar and a about a cup and 1/2 of water. Include salt, pepper and some of the dried herbs to taste. Simmer until tomatoes have broken down and sauce bubbles mildly. This usually takes about 45 minutes. Pour enough of the sauce to cover bottom of ovenproof dish.

If you decide to use prepared sauce, pour some in bottom of oven proof dish. You can enhance the flavor by sauteing some mushrooms and onions in olive oil and then add those to the sauce. 

a serving of stuffed shells

Shell filling:

Beat one egg into 8 oz. ricotta cheese.  Add dried herbs to mixture. Fill shells. Place shells in sauce, cover with remaining sauce. Top with mozzarella. Heat in 350 degree oven until cheese melts- this takes approximately 20 minutes.

Enjoy!               

 

 
 
cheesy goodness

stuffed shells

 
 
 
When you are finished enjoying your meal, visit our friend Marilyn
at http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/   and daughter Kimba at http://kimbas2cents.blogspot.com/    they have a great link- up going on. You are invited to participate!
 

 

 

Inspiration…

Recently, I spent a Saturday evening with my daughter. She made a wonderful dinner and then we watched one of my favorite movies, “To Sir, with love.” For those who do not know the story it is about an unemployed engineer who manages to get a job teaching at a lowly resourced school in England. It is the early 1960’s. He is single, handsome and black. All of these attributes are essential to the story and to me, the outcome of the story is inspirational. The teens start out hating him. They learn life lessons from him and eventually respect and love him. This movie has inspired many to become teachers. 

I told my daughter that it seems that there are a number of movies that prove to be inspirational to people and make them want to work in the field that the star of the film is employed in. I could easily think of several of these:
To Sir with love- teacher
The Miracle Worker- teacher
To Kill a Mockingbird- lawyer
I get such wonderful feelings from movies like these and I have taught and worked in the legal field. How about you? Is there a movie that you enjoy that made you consider a field of employment even if you didn’t go into it?
File this musing under shared experiences…

Kim

A nap would feel good about now…

 

It’s time to come in and get busy with Autumn and Winter projects. I wanted to take a nap like my cat Jasper, but I decided to make some curtains for my living room instead.  Jasper doesn’t know it but I am rearranging the furniture too.

Sewing is not my strength but I have reupholstered furniture, repaired clothing and completed simple things. I found some fantastic fabric on sale and will use it for the curtains. I will post photos of them later this week. Wish me luck! 

The Fall Crawl continues  today with a visit to http://mukweto.blogspot.com/ . Enjoy!

 

Isn’t it amazing?

 

The Fall Crawl has been an amazing experience for us. My husband Lars and I are getting to know so many wonderful people through this activity. Our daughter Kimba over at   http://kimbas2cents.blogspot.com/    has more experience than we with her wonderful blog but we are learning quickly.

The best part of the experience is still ahead of us since there are many more participants joining in. It is so much fun to see and learn new things!

Check out this list of featured sites:
Sept 19th – Marilyn – http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/
Sept 20th – Kellie – http://happybabychronicles.com/
Sept 21st – Letty – http://bellavidabyletty.blogspot.com/
Sept 22nd – Lorie – http://www.readingconfetti.blogspot.com/
Sept 23rd – Abby – http://dirtontherocks.com/
Abby’s will also include our 1st blog hop Linky Party
Sept 24th Tracy – http://tracycooksitright.blogspot.com/
Sept 25th – Kimba – http://kimbas2cents.blogspot.com/
Sept 26th – Jacqueline – http://mukweto.blogspot.com/
Sept 27th – Jillian – FoodFolksandFun.blogspot.com
Sept 28th – Kim&Lars http://larskim.com/
Sept 29th – DEIA http://loveandtangles.blogspot.com/
Sept 30th – Meli – http://melifaif.blogspot.com/
October 1st – Renee – http://renee-joyjourney.blogspot.com/
Renee’s will be our Second blog hop /Linky Party

 Isn’t it amazing?

Kim