Happy Mother’s Day and Weathervane in Chapel Hill

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I know that you all know how much I truly love my mother.  The things she and I have been through the last two years have made us stronger than ever.  She is indeed my best friend, confidant, and amazing beyond words.  She is my rock and the reason I go out everyday and try to be the best version of me that I can.  I owe that to her for all of her sacrifices, heart ache, and money spending that I have put her through.  I owe it to her to continually pay back in life what she has given to me.  I owe it to her to always treat others with kindness even though they may have hurt me.  I owe it to her to always take the high road and choose my battles, because she has taught me that I can choose how I react to situations for the best.  I owe it to her to be thankful of where I am in my life and recognize that life is always going to improve beyond where I am at in the present moment.  I owe it to her to hold my head high with confidence as a beautiful woman that she has created from her own beauty.  I owe it to her to be the best daughter she could possibly have prayed for all those years ago, because she has been that mother that God knew I was going to need.  She has shown up every single day for me, and I owe everything to her.

So when it came time to think of a Mother’s Day gift, it became difficult.  I knew she was missing her own mom, and I remembered that we didn’t make the traditional birthday cake at her birthday earlier this year.  It was time…yes time…to make Bishop Bread.  It seems almost sinful to be making it any other time than on her birthday.  I mean, it has been a time honored tradition for an incredible amount of years to be made only on her birthday (that’s me not telling you how young my mom is).  Sometimes life calls for throwing tradition out the window!  But wait, the recipe calls for candied cherries, which makes complete sense why this cake was only made around the holidays.  Grocery stores always had an abundance of candied cherries during Christmas.  If only for those god awful fruit cakes everyone seems to make.  I had to find them somewhere, right?  Very wrong.

After running out of time and places to hunt them down, there was only one option.  I had to make candied cherries myself.  One of my friends had suggested I make them out of Marschino Cherries.  Bleh.  Sorry, folks, I am not a fan of these artificially brightened treats.  However, I needed my candied cherries.  I took to Google, and Google came through with flying colors.  It landed me on ShaunaSever.com.  Thank goodness there was a recipe out there.

They were incredibly easy to make, and here is the link to her post… http://shaunasever.com/2010/12/how-to-make-candied-cherries.html.  Her recipe is below.

  

Candied Cherries

This is a full recipe that will yield about 8-9 ounces of candied cherries. It’s easily scaled up or down, even if you just need a tiny amount for a recipe.

  • 1 16-ounce jar maraschino cherries
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Drain the cherries, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. Combine the reserved juice and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the cherries, and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour, until the cherries are slightly shriveled and firm to the touch. Remove from the heat, uncover the pan, and let cool completely.

When the cherries have cooled, remove them to paper toweling (leaving the syrup behind, your recipe doesn’t call for it) and pat dry. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to six months.

  


Weathervane

We were originally headed to Fearrington Village for brunch, but considering the weather, Mom decided she would rather go to Chapel Hill and visit A Southern Season and Weathervane.  Love love love going to A Southern Season.  It should really be named A Southerner’s Food Heaven.  First, we ate!  

We lucked out and got a seat in the cafe area.  It’s really not that bad, but if you are more than two, you should ask for an extra chair when sitting at the booths. We were immediately advised that their regular menu was not available, and they were only offering a $34 Prix Fixe menu for Mother’s Day.  Which isn’t a bad thing.  I just missed their main menu.  Overall, it was a great experience because I was with my Mom/parents.  It is Mother’s Day afterall.   

They had a beautiful menu and a fresh daisy on each table.  It was set nicely, just as would be expected.

Mom ordered the baked baby brie, orange blossom honey, fig preserves, and toasted country bread for her starter.  I’m not the biggest brie fan, but this had a really nice flavor with all of the elements combined.

 I ordered the Grilled Summer Squash Soup as my starter with charred peppadew peppers, and a sweet corn crem fraiche –  No, I didn’t shake it up or stir it before taking the photo.  It was presented this way.  You eat with your eyes first, and although this ended up tasting decent, it certainly wasn’t plated well.  A little bit of a let down for as amazing as this place normally is. 

 

My Stepdad ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes with a buttermilk cucumber, green tomato relish, and crispy greens.  He said the greens were so soaked in grease, it was hard to enjoy them.  However, they were indeed fried, and we came to the conclusion that maybe that’s the only way some people can eat healthy greens…fried.  The dish was perfect otherwise.

They both ordered the out of this world Weathervane Shrimp and Grits with heritage Andouille Sausage, redeye shrimp gravy, shitake mushrooms, and pimento grits.  Even though we never saw actual pimentos in the grits, this was the best dish of the entire meal at the table.  Very thankful this is on the regular menu!!!


I ordered the Tea Glazed Organic Salmon with heirloom pea succotash, preserved lemon, skinny bean salad, and a green tomato vinaigrette.  This was probably the best cooked piece of salmon that I have had in an extremely long time.  Delicious and buttery.

They copied each other again at first with both ordering the Salty Caramel Apple Cobbler with a brown sugar streusel and buttermilk ice cream.  However, contrary to what your brain tells you, this cobbler was served cold.  I asked the server if it was supposed to be served cold (we were kind of early in their lunch service so maybe they just hadn’t had time to warm it thoroughly), and after going to the back and returning, she informs us that it is supposed to be served cold.  Hmmmm…if this is a new trend, you can have it.  Ice cream (especially such tasty ice cream like the one on this dish) should be melting gently over the HOT apple cobbler.  Maybe next time put that it is served cold on the menu?


After the Cobbler debacle, Mom ended up with the same dessert I had chosen – 11 Layer Chocolate Cake with dark chocolate ganache, roasted strawberries, and a peanut butter mousse.  This was a win in the richness of the cake and the perfection of the peanut butter mousse.  I’ll take a pound of that to go, please!

The few little things that I wasn’t pleased with didn’t outweigh the stellar service, the ambience, or the overall enjoyment of being with my family at a nice restaurant.  It truly was a good experience.  I can’t wait to go back and order my own plate of Shrimp and Grits!

If you’ve made it to the bottom, I hope that you have all enjoyed your Mother’s Day.  If you’re like me, and have only been blessed with being a mother to a cat, then Happy MeowMa Day to you (as I refer to the day).  If you’re not able to be with your Mom, then I hope that she left you with wonderful memories that you can look back on today, and know that you are a better person because she was in your life.

With love to my own Mom,  J

The Most Wonderful Part…Mom

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Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed us now, and it’s time for a New Year already. Can you believe it? I’m not sure about you, but my last year literally flew by. There are things I could have handled differently in that year, and there are things I would do over and over again if given the chance. That’s what life is truly about. It’s about living, learning, and appreciating the gifts we are given on a daily basis.

When the New Year rolls around, I don’t normally make resolutions. I find that I’m quite rebellious when I least expect it and those resolutions quickly exit my life. Instead, I take stock of my life and all the wonderful parts of it. There’s always one part that comes to mind first though. It’s my Mom’s birthday, and she is the most wonderful part of each and every year of my life. Therefore, when I take stock, she’s first on my list.

I feel that I must share a little bit about our Mother/Daughter relationship.

Throughout all of my years (now 30 of those years), my Mom has been there for me unconditionally. Black Eyed PeasThe following are just a few examples. When our cool Southern nights would roll around, Vick’s Vapor Rub was present. I used to love Mom’s tender touch when I was sick rubbing the Vick’s on my upper chest to soothe my congestion. Sometimes on a sick day home from school, we would have cheesy mashed potatoes with chopped up ham and sliced cheese in them. It was a mild dish that I could enjoy. Mashed potatoes are very special to me because of this. There was always sight-seeing in different states when we would travel to make sure I learned about different cultures and history. We were and still are best buds. I can talk to her about absolutely anything.

She allowed me to make the mistakes I needed to in order to grow, and she was always there to pick my broken heart up off the floor and apply some “Mom Glue”. Many times she told me I could do better. Many times she told me you can’t quit a job until you have one. Many times she told me to simply and purely follow my dreams. Many times she told me to always trust in the strength that is God. Many times – many, many times – she has told me she loves me.

For a time, it was just me and Mom. And, you know what? We made it – we would go out to Arby’s and split a meal to save some money, we would have our own little celebrations at home, and we survived, as many single parents and children do.

There are countless magical memories of my Mom I could share…but, alas, there aren’t enough pages for this.

Meal Photo 4See, my Mom is a good Southern woman. Luckily for her, on her birthday, some of her favorite Southern foods make up our traditional New Year’s Day meal. We gather at my Grandmother’s home and enjoy a birthday meal for her. It always consists of turnip greens, cornbread, and the all-important black-eyed peas. I remember growing up and always being told to eat plenty of it all so I could have good luck and prosperity in the year ahead. Sadly, I grew a strong disdain for turnip greens over the year – which probably explains a lot. I make up for it though, with eating lots of black-eyed peas and cornbread! Both of these are two of my favorite Southern foods as well.

While the New Year’s Day meal is strictly Turnip Greenstraditional fare for most households, it’s a special meal for my family. I encourage you to look into all of the different versions of a “traditional” New Year’s Day meal and all of the various meanings. The one story I found the most, and enjoyed the idea of the most, was this…

“Back in the days of civil war, Union troops swept through the south, confiscating crops and livestock to use as provisions for their troops. Southerners who weren’t off fighting were left with precious little, save for peas and greens. You see, Union soldiers considered “field peas” and greens to be fit only for animal fodder. These dishes became cherished and appreciated as what saved many a family from starvation during those times and the tradition of celebrating these dishes on the New Year was born.” – Christy Jordan, www.SouthernPlate.com

Mom’s “Birthday Dinner” is deeply rooted in the Southern traditions and love – just like my Mom. My Mom loves the South. I love the South, and I love my Mom.

As I think about how to close this article for you, I can’t help but think of how many people are without a Mom like the Mom I was blessed with. Hold your Mom’s and Mother figures close. Never forget to appreciate them or tell them you love them in the year ahead and all the years to come. My Mom is magnificent. She is my inspiration. She is my shining and constant reminder of God’s love, and she is the most wonderful part of my life. Happy New Year, everyone!

~Originally published in January 2013 issue of Alamance County Magazine.

Dreams of a Restaurant of Kindness…

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In the grand scheme of life, we are put here to be good human beings. I am finding more and more that kindness is actually catching on. It’s becoming “trendy” might I venture to say? Seemingly, people are more aware of the human condition than ever before. We know that our neighbor was laid off a year ago and it’s hard to put food on the table. We understand that it’s hard to find a new job with rejection around most corners. We see the foreclosure signs around town, and we feel for the ones going through that. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to have to up-root from everything you know and love, because you couldn’t make your mortgage/rent payment. Unfortunately, this does happen. Now, I don’t have a plan to fix all of this. That’s not my job or my passion to “fix” this. My passion is to provide to others what I can to help others feel their own worth, find their own talent, realize their own dreams, and eventually live out their own success in life. I find that sometimes just a warm meal, good conversation, and a moment to relax is just what’s needed…

With that being said, there is this one dream I have that I finally want to share with you.

At least once a week, I pass this house for sale that’s been labeled “Commercial” now. It’s quite the pleasant house to look at. In fact, it looks as if it would make a nice house to live in. (Keep in mind, I haven’t seen inside this house…but that doesn’t change the dream.) I can completely envision a restaurant in there. Not just your everyday restaurant, but one that would have a set menu each night of the week. Spaghetti on Mondays, Grilled Chicken on Tuesdays, Meatloaf on Wednesdays, Chicken Pie on Thursdays, Potato Soup on Fridays, etc. You get the point. Each plate would cost $4 for adults and $2 for children. It would be a place where people who are struggling could come and have a warm inexpensive meal and sit in a warm house for a while. I’m thinking the hours would be limited to just dinner time, and only open for a few hours. No need to be open late, because it wouldn’t be a bar…just good home-cooked Southern food. *smiles* The guests would walk right into the front door, grab a plate and sit where they wanted to. They could sit at the dining room table, or if they wanted to catch some television time, they could sit on the couch in the den. It would be their house for a few hours where they could feel warm and comfortable away from the worries of their everyday life.

I’m sure there are other places like this around, at least I hope there are. So when everyone tells me in my daily life that I need to open a restaurant…I’m flattered. I truly am flattered. However, the type of restaurant I would want to open, wouldn’t be what they’re thinking about. It would be a restaurant of kindness, specifically designed to help those that need it the most. Because that, my friends, is what’s truly important in life.

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You can certainly view the property I’m talking about if you’re curious with the link below…However, the house isn’t viewable. It’s more focused on the surrounding property. I do see though that it is in “Pending” status. I pray that whoever is buying the property, that they do some good with it. Honestly though, I would be sad to see the house tore down, as it has been a source of my dreams for quite a few years now. *frown* There is always a plan though…we just aren’t always privy to what the plan is…trusting.

http://www.richardjonesrealestate.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?PropId=41&ListId=&CatId=1&SubCatId=

The above was the best photo I could get of the house on a drive by photograph….so pardon the blurs.

The real estate site says….The 3,000 sqft house on the (7 acre) property features: Main floor has living room, music room, bathroom, 1 bedroom, den, dining room, kitchen and breakfast area and utility room. The second floor features 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. The roof is 12 years old, the HVAC/Hotwater Heater is 13+ years old. The cellar has a concrete floor and is accessible from inside the house.

(Seems like lots of Restaurant space to me!!! *smiles*)

Lions and Trees on plates, Oh My!

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For many of you that know me or have been following my blog, you know how important my family is to me. Today was an extremely warming day. Not just that it was above 90 degrees here in the humid South, but because I spent half the day with my most wonderful Grandma.

Every year, our church has Vacation Bible School. Each night of bible school, a different woman of the church prepares the snacks for the children. Monday was pizza, Tuesday was weenie biscuits, and tonight…yes, tonight…was Maw-Maw’s. *smiles*

About a month ago, Maw-Maw and I decided this would be a fun project to work together on. Now, granted, she may have been a little skeptical about working with a perfectionist…who can sometimes be difficult…she still agreed graciously. *wink* We came up with a cute idea after I saw a photograph online of food fun ideas, and we ran with it.

The day started at 1pm today with my arrival at her house. First thing was first, had to slice the apples and put them in Orange Juice (Maw-Maw found that this keeps them from turning…and it DID!). I’ll admit it…this would not have been an easy task were it not for my Williams-Sonoma apple corer/slicer/thingymabobber. Could not, would NOT, have done it without it. 20 apples later, it was time to cut the bread. We had 50 “heads” to cut out, and luckily Mom had lent us her Fondant cutters. To make things easier, Maw-Maw thought of freezing the loaf bread. With the freezing, it allowed the bread to cut through with the cutter and not just smush around the edges of the cutter. Ingenious, that woman is. Now you see where I get it. *wink*

After that, we began to assemble the “heads” into Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. For the “non-PB” people (the crazy people), we made Ham and Cheese sandwiches. Being a good Southerner is all about pleasing everyone. Unfortunately…. *smiles*

We finally wrapped up prepping around 3:30, and we had just enough time for a little sit-down break. Shew, she worked me today!

The neighbor girls that Maw-Maw takes to VBS arrived around 4:15 at her house, and off we went. When we got to the church, the girls were great! They helped with everything we asked them to do, and we couldn’t have asked for any better. It was the kind of help that gives me hope that the generation below me isn’t all bad.

The plates were set out, and an abundance of adults and kids were commenting on how great everything looked. They ate, we cleaned up, and then we watched them do some of their activities.

Even 20 years later, you still remember the activities from VBS. The same women that were there when I participated in it, were still there this week doing it. Maybe a little grayer, more love-lines, but who cared? They did it with just as much love tonight, as they always did when I was young. It reminded me of a simpler time, when all I needed to know how to do was move my hands in various motions to match the words that I was singing. It was just pure bliss seeing the little kids do that tonight. Made me smile. *smile*

I caught up with an old friend as well while there, loaded up the car, and sat around with Maw-Maw until the kids were done. The girls hopped in her car, and we all went back to our respective homes. It was a day complete.

So that’s the schedule of the day. There was much more about the day that made it warm. Today was a good day for Maw-Maw and I to spend time together. Today is the 16th anniversary of the death of Paw-Paw. He was such an important part of our life, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Dealing with someone’s death never gets easier, we just learn to move forward with their memory. That’s why it is so incredibly important not to take for granted the days we have with our family members and loved ones. We all know how life turns out, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make it beautiful for others while we’re here. So that they too will have warm memories of us for years to come, as I have of my Paw-Paw.

 

A juicy taste of things to come…

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Mom and I picked a wonderful bunch of strawberries
today. It was my first time, and it made it even sweeter to experience it with
Mom. The first thing she told me…. “Eat as many as you want in the field. It’s
just what you do.” *smiles*

This was just the beginning of my strawberry
adventures today. My day ended with fresh Strawberry Jam, and was filled with
beautiful pictures. Strawberry posts will be coming out in the next few days.
But, for now, I leave you with some beautiful shots of the field and the at home
work. Strawberry Love to you all!

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Healthy and Delicious Chicken Nuggets in The South

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There’s this thing…this stigma…about living in the South.  That everything has to be fried.  Yes, most of us indulge in a good plate of fried chicken, and some of us over-indulge.  But, you know what?  It’s ok.  If being in the South says that we have to eat fried foods occasionally, I will live in it proudly.  If you need to lay off of the traditional fried chicken, or if you find yourself having a hard time giving up the unique flavor of fried chicken, try these little nuggets of happiness out.  Sometimes you just need a break from fried food to realize your body can survive without it…

This is super simple to make, doesn’t require a lot of prep work, and doesn’t take too awful long to bake.  I took a Weight Watchers recipe for Baked Ranch Chicken and ever-so-slightly altered it for our taste buds.

I personally am kind of weird about my chicken preparation, and I don’t mind using frozen chicken.  I did read recently that it is better not to rinse your chicken, because it just spreads the germs into your sink, and it really isn’t doing anything different for the chicken.  It’s all in cooking it to the right temperature that keeps us from getting sick… (165 degrees is the recommended temperature for poultry).  I find that cooking with breast tenderloins is somewhat easier with a lot of dishes.  Especially with cutting them up in nuggets.  I trim all of the fat, skins, and spots off of the meat.  Like I said…very weird about chicken.

On a side note…I do feel as though I can hear my hands screaming for mercy whenever I pull out the chicken to prepare for the dinner that night.  I have horrible eczema (just on my hands oddly), and I tend to wash my hands multiple times during chicken preps.  Positive note…this is a good thing to be clean when handling meats and other bacteria carrying foods.  

Healthy Ranch Chicken Nuggets

  • 1 pack powdered Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I like the finer crumb for this purpose…maybe even Panko.)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Trim and cut chicken breasts into bite-sized “nugget” pieces.

3. Mix above ingredients in a bowl or large Ziploc baggie.

4. Toss “nuggets” in the crumbs to coat evenly.

5. Place “nuggets” on a Pam-sprayed cookie sheet

6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, take out and turn each one over.  Put back in the oven, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.

To cut down further on the calories of the entire meal…I served the nuggets with horseradish mustard for dipping and Black Beans simmered with Tomatoes and Green Chiles (both of these were cans to be specific).  To the Beans and Tomatoes, I added a little Sea Salt, Smoked Paprika, and Texas Pete (YUM).  Enjoy!

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Caking with Mom: An Introduction to the Series

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There comes a time in a young woman’s life where she begins to see her Mom within her own being.  As I sit here typing this, my face is reflecting back at me behind my words.  I see my Mom in me….a lot.  It’s not just in the beauty I see reflecting back at me that I see her, but in my heart, in the very depth of my soul.  I see the love of inspiring others with my own kindness and generosity.  I see the hope for a brighter tomorrow, and yet still see the brightness shining on the current day.  I see the desire to please everyone, but still know how to take care of my own needs at the same time.  I see the beginning of a woman I can only dream of becoming one day…a Mom that can heal the most painful of boo-boos on the body, and yet can reach deep into a broken heart and mend it.  It’s my Mom I see in me, and I feel blessed that God gave her to me to guide me through this sometimes rough life…she makes my life beautiful……(Ok, let me dry my eyes.  I need to get to CAKING!).

With the above in mind…know that my Mom and I are very close, and she knows me like a book.  So, when I write that she complained every time there were dishes to do during this process that I “conveniently” needed to go do something else…daggumit, she’s right.  I thought I could get away with it, but my plan was always foiled….*sigh*.  A book I tell ya, like a book.

A little history and introduction on the Caking part.  On every single birthday (I mean it, never missed one), Mom would always make me a cake.  In the beginning she decorated them…sure.  A one-year old couldn’t hold an icing thingy (can’t think of what they’re called if they aren’t a bag at the moment, so we’re going with “thingy”).  But, as soon as I could hold one, it was on like a fat kid at a cake icing extravaganza…oh wait, that was what it was.  Yeah, I was chunky growing up, so what?…I was cute, and my Mommy loves me.  *smiles*  It seemed every year the icing got thicker on the cakes, until one day I started doing actual designs on the cakes.  They got prettier with each year (still a ton of icing all the time).  I love icing, what can I say???

Then, in September 2005, I was engaged and was to be married in December 2005.  What did Mom do???  She immediately began taking cake decorating classes in those short three months.  She went to all sorts of classes.  You know what the best part was???  THE HOMEWORK!  Honest though, our whole household did get caked out at one point.  But, we recovered well from our three-month sugar rush.  Below you will see my wedding cake that she made with love.  Her first “official” cake. 

Now, Mom doesn’t quite have the stamina in her body to stand over a cake for hours on end and decorate them.  It’s very sad to me.  It’s a pastime of my own lifetime that I hold very dear in my memories.  It’s also something I can’t wait to hand down as a tradition to my own future offspring.  I would have been an ignoramus (I believe that’s what Cracker Barrel uses as a term for loser in their tabletop game) to pass up documenting this most recent cake. 

So, enough of the sappiness, and on to the happiness!  I promise the rest of this is going to be cheerful and entertaining.  Who knows…you might learn something along my journey.  Although, there are some tricks she told me I couldn’t share.  We will refer to these as a Southern Mom’s Special Touch throughout this series.  *smiles*  Every true Southern woman has a special trick up her sleeve only to be passed down through generations.  My Mom has hers, and I, my friends, have been passed the torch…

These are a few shots of things we will cover along the way…

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Smile…Spring is upon us.

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“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and takes the winds of March with beauty.”  ~William Shakespeare

These are just a few shots I took this morning while working out in the yard (before I backed into a thorny vine in the woods, grrrr). 

I hope they make you smile in your heart, resting in the comfort that Spring is upon us.

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The Masterpiece that is Life…

You ever have those days where you just feel like not being sugar-coated?  I have those days occasionally.  Those days where the world has turned against you.  Your tire has become flat, you locked yourself out of your car, you dropped a bag of groceries and broke your eggs, or you missed an important phone call.  We’ve all had those days.  The days where all you can think about is curling up in bed and calling it a day early, maybe even before supper time.  It’s on those days though, that we need to draw strength off of the wonders around us…..a sunrise, sunset, pretty clouds, or just plain ol’ improving someone else’s day for a change.

Your tires flat?  There must be something that God wanted you to stop and take notice of.  I know it’s hard to believe sometimes, but things happen for a reason.  We have choices that we can make, but He knows what He needs to have happen for His plan to come together and will take actions needed.  OK, so back to the tire.  Let’s think about some reasons it could have happened.  I got a flat tire in the parking lot of a post office one time…let’s go back there.  Maybe the person that came to assist me needed a break in their hectic day.  Yes, helping someone with a tire is hectic sometimes, but I am quite nice and fairly easy to get along with (in my opinion at least).  I may have added a ray of sunshine to his day.  What about the place I bought a tire from???  Maybe they had to make goal for the day so the boss wouldn’t be upset with them, and were just a tidbit off of that goal for the day.  What if the guy behind the counter had just ended up with a nasty customer before me, and I made his day better with showing him a kind heart?  You know what else it could have been?  God may have known there was a bad situation up ahead in my day, and He needed me to not go there.  So, being the stubborn redhead I am, He had to stop me since I might not have stopped myself.

You locked yourself out of your car???  No biggie…let’s go back to when I helped my friend get into her car.  We called AAA and were met immediately to unlock her car.  The tow truck driver was on his way to a bigger call, and knew he had a chance to swing by and unlock her doors really quick.  What if the guy was headed to something that may have put him in danger at that very second of arrival?  He could have been responding to a call off the side of the interstate and if the timing had been right, a dangerous driver could have swerved by them. 

The other two should be self-explanatory at this point of my post.  I shouldn’t have to explain them.  There are reasons for things.  Life is one big…..masterpiece.  Life isn’t all about you, as an individual.  You are a part of His masterpiece.  Where do you fit in to that masterpiece?  Remember, things that happen to you may not always be for your benefit in the book of life.  But, they do happen.  Your decision is whether you roll with the punches and make a decision to be happy, or do you plop down where you are in life, stick out your bottom lip and pout until you are drowning in your drool and self-pity.  Myself?  I choose the first option.  This is my life and as much as I hate to do this…..quoting Bon Jovi *sigh*….”It’s my life.  It’s now or never.  I ain’t gonna live forever.  I just wanna live while I’m alive.” 

Are you living today?  While living…are you killing the ones around you with kindness to make their day better?

To quote a wise woman no longer with us, much more worthy of quoting than Bon Jovi…my Granny…”Kill ’em with kindness.”

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On a completely unrelated note and to lighten the mood now…Enjoy pics of the kitcat snuggling up with her Christmas Present, organic catnip…I swear, it is catnip…and, some pretty snow pictures…

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