30 Days of Thanks-Day 14-Work

Today, November 14, 2015 I am thankful for my work. When I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Business, I had different plans for a career than what I am doing now. But the jobs were not available in my area; I still do not have any intention of moving out of state.

So, I stumbled into writing to make some extra cash while I took part-time temporary jobs. One writing job turned into another, I have managed to build a steady client list. By working with different editors, I am learning new techniques and increasing my skill set. I am enjoying the  learning and research process.

I guess this is what I am supposed to do.

Until next time…peace…

National Indian Pudding Day

Today, November 13, 2015, is National Indian Pudding Day. Is your reaction the same as mine? What is Indian Pudding? When I first read this, I had no clue what to expect from the recipe or how to create the dessert. So, I had to start with some research. The recipe is well known in the New England area, with the tasty dish’s history going back to the early 17th century. The dessert was served during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

I searched for different recipes and decided to make this new treat. For the people who know me well, they are fully aware I am not the best baker. I basically do not have the patience to bake. For the most part, I do know-how. I enjoy canning and processing fruits and vegetables during the fall harvest time to eat all winter.

After reading the recipe, I knew I was in over my head. I never even heard of the term “temper the egg” before reading the instructions. So, I did what I normally do when I cannot understand a recipe: I called my mother. She came over to help me. (By the way, tempering an egg means slowly adding the hot liquid to the egg mixture to bring the two different temperatures together).

Most of the recipes called for cornmeal, molasses, sugar, milk, and spices. So, my mom and I picked the one we thought would be simpler to make. The recipe was an older one, but the sugar amount was reduced. I did not want a lot of sugar in my dish.

The basic ingredients in this recipe plus sugar, flour and butter.
The basic ingredients in this recipe plus sugar, flour, and butter.

The ingredients start by cooking on the stovetop.

Mixing the ingredients on the stove top.
Mixing the ingredients on the stovetop.

After some time, the pudding takes over two hours to bake.

Going into the oven to bake for two hours.
Going into the oven to bake for two hours.

The final product was finished. I will admit the look of the pudding was not what I had expected.

004

But the taste was awesome. The recipe suggests topping with vanilla ice cream or heavy whipped cream. Well, I used the store-bought brand, but the final product was good. I am glad I was able to try something new. As an extra bonus, my mom was able to help share in this blogging experience.

Until next time…..peace.

30 Days of Thanks-Day 13-My Mom

Today, November 13, 2015, I want to give thanks to my mother. Over the years, my mom has become my best friend.

I can always count on her to accompany me to a local event or try a new recipe to help me further either my photography or writing. Today, she even helped me with a recipe which is coming up in my last blog for the night. I enjoy the fact that she lives next door to me. She simply wanders down the road to my house.

Until next time…peace

 

30 Days of Thanks-Day 12-Stories

Yesterday, November 12, 2015 I had an article that took more research than I had originally planned. So my personal blogging was set aside. Not that I wasn’t thankful for the day’s events; I just had deadlines

Day 12

I am thankful for “stories”. The kind of stories, you can hear by chance. I run errands and play taxi driver for numerous older family members and friends of the family. Sometimes I find myself waiting for hours at various doctor offices or other appointments. During this time, I meet all types of people who share stories about their lives. At one point, I was told I was good at listening without judgement. I mean honestly who I to judge another person’s life story am.

Obviously, I will not use their real names out of respect. But I thought I would share a couple stories with you.

Miss G

Miss G. is elderly woman of African American decent who is wheel chair bound. When I first met her I was waiting at a doctor’s office. She told me I had a beautiful smile and a kind face. I immediately blushed. I am certain the color of my face matched my hair. She was taking into a examination room.

After some time, she returned. Of course, I was still waiting for a family friend to emerge out of her appointment. After introducing herself, she began to tell me how she was all alone in the world. Her son was killed in the war (I am not sure which one). Her daughter had been in trouble with the law. In fact the daughter’s boyfriend had been in prison for over 20 years. During that entire time, her daughter lived with her. “It was the happiest time of my life, a daughter is a blessing.” When he got out of prison, he married her daughter and took her away. She told the situation was sad. I did not ask for details. She continued to tell me little things about her time spent with her daughter. But now she was all alone in the company of strangers.

Mr. X

He never told me his name. He sat across from me as I waited at another appointment. He just shared a piece of his story. “I was diagnosed with cancer, 6 months ago.” he began. “They told me, I had 3 months to live. But I am still here.” At this point, he actually chuckled very loudly. “Guess they didn’t get that right.” He went on tell me how he refused treatment that he would take each day at time.

Mrs. T

I use to work at a grocery store. There was an elderly lady who would come in every week. She would buy a fifth of vodka and box of raisins. Of course, I had to ask what she did with them. She smiled at me; I still remember her devious grin like she was unveiling the biggest secret. “Well, my dear” She began softly as if to share the information only with me. “You take a handful of raisins each night and soak them in vodka. The next night, eat those raisins as a snack. They make you feel better.” The story still makes me smile.

I guess this one of the reasons why I like old photographs. I want to know their stories too.

 

30 Days of Thanks-Day 11-Veterans

Today, November 11, 2015, I am thankful to all who have served in the military. I may not always agree with the politics. But I respect anyone who serves our country. My father served two tours of during the Vietnam conflict. He rarely discusses his time there. He always says, “when my country called, I went, and when I was done that part of his life was over.”

So, Happy Veteran’s Day to all who served including my dad!

Until next time…peace

30 Days of Thanks- Day 10-Music

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity.

It’s something we are all touched by.

No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”

Billy Joel

 

Today, November 10, 2015, I am thankful for music. I know I mentioned music yesterday when I said, I was thankful for YouTube. But I wanted to expand on how much I love music. I listen to all types of music. I cannot pinpoint one specific genre. I listen to everything from opera to hard rock.

I actually listen to music more than I watch television. I tend to write for hours at a time; having music in the background helps with my creative thought process. If I am writing a sad or dramatic scene, opera and classic music help the story unfold. I use classic rock or anything with a thumping base for writing a scene filled with intense emotions.

For the most part, I do purchase my music online. The process is simple. I get my music instantly. Other times, I will be walking through a store and spot a new cd and I throw the item in my cart.

What is your favorite music? Do you have a favorite group or band?

Until next time….peace.

Happy Sesame Street Day!

Today, November 10, 2015, is a Sesame Street Day. Who has watched Sesame Street at some point in their life? On this day in 1969, Sesame Street was first aired on television. I love the theme song, I mean “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?”

Me holding my two favorite Sesame Street characters. I was about 8 years old.
Me holding my two favorite Sesame Street characters. I was about 8 years old.

 

My favorite characters were Burt and Ernie. I loved the puppets, the lessons and everything else to do with the fun loving kid’s show. Well, I even found myself watching Sesame Street at 2 am the other night. I could help but watch for a few minutes when I was flipping channels.

So, Happy Sesame Street Day!

Until next time….peace….

30 Days of Thanks–Days 7, 8 & 9–Playing Catch Up

Ok, I know I am behind. I cannot say I am behind on giving thanks or counting my blessings; I just behind posting for the challenge. I try to count my blessings or give thanks on a daily basis. I truly believe when I am thankful, I attract positive energy. So, I will play catch up before I go back to researching for my article which is due tomorrow.

Day 7

On Day 7, I was thankful for the extra writing work which is the reason why I am behind with my posts. Whenever there is a chance to pick up extra work, I try to accept the jobs. The extra money always comes in handy especially this time of year with the holidays fast approaching.  I also like to show clients, I am flexible with deadlines.

I really do enjoy the entire writing process (well, most of the time). I have become more efficient in my researching. I try really hard to stay focused. I tend to research relatable topics that show up in my search. I can start with one subject matter and end up reading something entire different. What can I say? I like to learn.

Day 8

I am thankful for impromptu visits. I have a large extended family. My great aunt once said, “We have cousins by the dozen.” I never realized how much that was true until I got older. I love the impromptu visits from my cousins or other relatives that I have not seen in a while. We catch up, laugh and share stories. What more could a person ask from life? Laughter is good for the soul.

Day 9

Today, November 9, 2015, I am thankful for YouTube. I know that may seem crazy. I like when I am having trouble concentrating, I can watch videos (usually music) to find inspiration. I enjoy finding new bands, groups, or singers to give me motivation to create. And, I like to find groups that are not as well known or dedicated to a specific genre. I think some of their work is amazing.

Until next time….peace….

30 Days of Thanks-Day 6-Mrs. Boardman’s Pics

Today, November 6, 2015, is the sixth day in the 30 Day of Thanks challenge. I’ve actually been enjoying reading everyone’s “thanks” or “blessings” posts.

Day 6

I am thankful for Mrs. Helen Boardman’s pictures. So, who is Mrs. Boardman? Well, honestly I have no idea. I bought these negatives from an estate sale years ago. On the outside of the envelope in the customer’s name section in pencil was the name: Helen Boardman (pics).  I have slowly been turning the negatives into digital images.

I wish I knew more about the people in the photos.

  • Who there were?
  • How was their life story?
  • Were they happy?
  • Did they get married?
  • How many children did they have?
  • Were they on vacation during the photos?
  • Has their story lived on?

I will probably never know any of the answers. I just enjoy the process.

30 Days of Thanks-Day 5-Sunrises

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers

where I can walk undisturbed.”

Walt Whitman

Today, November 5, 2015, I am thankful for sunrises. What can I say, there’s something almost magical about watching the day being ushered in. The various birds sang to greet the sun as the glorious site was slowly revealed over the horizon. Standing in the crisp morning air with cold damp grass underneath me, photographing the sunrise was an inspiring way to start the day. I could hear the deer splashing down in the creek bed. The wild turkeys calling to one another. Nature is always vocal at sunrise before the interruptions of other humans on to their landscape.

Until next time…peace….