Be true

I enjoy doing things for my loved ones, but there comes a time when I get out of balance, and need to reign myself in.

This is an awesome reminder that reigning myself in is OK.

Today I’m grateful for reminders, for peace, for resolution that I can make good choices.

I’m very grateful.

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Glimpse

“The Amen of Nature is Always a Flower.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. Beautiful

Cast Light

“Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature.” – Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

"The Amen of nature is always a flower.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. “The Amen of nature is always a flower.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Let each day unfold without pretense or prediction of what will or should be. Look for the good in others and yourself and let the rest go. Stop trying to fix others and control the uncontrollable. Glimpses of light and clarity are woven through each day to awaken us to life, to ourselves.

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Tawanda!

“Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.”
http://youtu.be/lx0z9FjxP-Y

I had to reschedule my insurance test, and my biggest test has been in transporting myself from place to place today. The whole day has been a test, and I’m very grateful to be home.

It’s been one of those days where I must have some sort of target on the side of my car. I had a total of 5 near misses today. It is a complete miracle that I made it home intact, without having to call my insurance agent to report a collision.

The last incident had me ready to use bad words…..and that takes some very serious provocation. The gentleman in the black F150 who almost t-boned me in the driver’s side door, was almost t-boned himself by a minivan. I couldn’t move because of the minivan, the minivan couldn’t move because of the slow witted F150 driver (who should have his license revoked under the Texas Dumb Ass clause which I am composing now to send to the Texas Insurance Comissioner, and my state representative.). We slowly untangled ourselves when the minivan was able to back up.

I proceeded to the bank, where I had to wait 15 minutes for my transaction to be completed. The Branch Manager herself had to verify my identity. My drivers license wasn’t sufficient. The fact that I had my debit card and used my pin for the teller to access my account, was not sufficient. I had to list the number and type of accounts I had with the bank. As I am the co-signer for my children’s accounts, we have a few lines with this bank. I kept thinking “I’m treated better at the airport, than my local bank branch, and they ask for less info!” I rattled off how many, and what types of accounts, my credit card info, and mortgage info to boot, the dear lady, who was eyeing me like a fox in the hen house, to her credit, tried to joke off her nasty attitude by asking me if I needed any additional services from their establishment……………to my ever-lasting shame I got sarcastic and asked if it was possible to be provided with some “quick customer service”.

It was then that I realized that I had had enough. And I would be very fortunate to make home.

Customer service will not return, until it is demanded. I found myself demanding today. I’m not sorry that I demanded, I could have been less sarcastic in doing so. But today was a test, and I will strive to do better next time.

I’m just so grateful I made it home in one piece! It is truly a miracle I made it through 5 near misses today. I’m so thankful.

I could let this Test of today ruin my day, or I can use it like the exercise equipment it is to make myself stronger, to make tomorrow better.

At least I didn’t go all Tawanda on them. I will count that as a victory.

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Is it Friday yet? Tacenda. My word for today, practiced but not perfected.

35 hours in 3 days, plus drive time to take a class. I’m pooped.

Taking these classes are a bit like drinking from a Fire Hose: Fast, Furious, and Ineffective if you are thirsty.

The funny thing about the class setting is the competitive Quiz Takers. We had some doozies in this class. A recovering “attorney”-in the midst of a career change, a recent Rice graduate-showing off her skills of argument and logic, a school teacher-determined to show her worth, an insurance agent-expanding his skills was the resident expert.

I was in a sea of professional students, and litigators. Everything was an argument. Every point had to be torn apart into minutia. As much as I wanted to give into my competitive spirit, I practiced being quiet.

As I sat in this class determined to learn what I had to learn to take my exam on Friday. I was impressed with the teacher’s attempts to reign in the discussions, even as she participated in the debates. She stayed friendly while trying to be firm.

For me I found that if I would just read ahead, it helped me keep my mind off the melee.

So at the end of this marathon I realize how much energy it takes to sit in a classroom for 10+ hours a day.

Cheers to those who do this for a living. Cheers to those who take time to put things like these classes together.

Cheers to those who argue. God Bless you that you have the time and luxury to pull things apart to no particular point, other than to be heard.

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For me, I need to be quiet for a while.

Well…now that I’ve been heard anyway…..I know practice harder Tacenda girl.

Have you taken any classes recently? What was your experience?

Fuubutsushi….more words for the changing season

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Is it still winter? For a few more days technically. I’m suffering the anticipation of the change of season with the obligatory allergy sniffle.

I’m anticipating a monster pine pollen season. It’s always so interesting when all cars parked outdoors for more than an hour become a lovely yellow hue.

A little further northwest in Austin, Cedar fever should be in full swing in the next week or two. They actually have shots for that….homeopathic remedies include concentrated tinctures of cedar pollen rubbed into strategic pressure points on the body.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to the blue bonnets this year. The rains we’ve had since last October should make this season really great.

Spring brings back happy memories, and makes me look forward to seeing things bloom. We will get the garden planted, and look forward to tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.

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I’m grateful for the early signs of spring…warm breezes, sunshine, and budding trees.

My Fuubutsushi is in full gear. The fresh scent of just cut grass has me ready for a lovely warm weather time.

What triggers your Fuubutsushi? Is it a calendar season? A holiday season? A season in your life?

Do you look forward to changing your wardrobe, changing colors, longer days, fresh veggies?

I’d love to hear about it!

Vorfreude …..what?

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When I was a little girl, my dad traveled very often. When we would take him to the airport I would long to go with him. I wanted to fly on the airplane more than I wanted a pony. One day he surprised me and offered to take me along with him.

I chickened out. I don’t know why I got so scared, maybe because I was only 7.

This anxiousness continues today, especially when I entertain. I am an early freak anyway, but I’m always pacing checking for guests, planning for where I will put all the food in case no one shows up. It’s so silly, even if less people arrive than I invited, it always ends up so nice. The people who don’t show aren’t even missed. We just celebrate who is there, and toast who didn’t show.

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I’m sure someone smarter than me can analyze all this anticipation anxiety. There is a change coming that I’ve longed for for over a year. The fact that this dream will finally come true, I’m weepy. The thought that this dream might actually be so close has me ready to run back to the safety of just dreaming, instead of reaching out and living this dream. Can I really embrace this dream and enjoy it? Will I enjoy the reality as much as the dream?

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So to be ready to live out this dream, I find myself humbled and ready to prepare, so that I can live this dream to the fullest extent. I want the reality of it to be better than I ever imagined.

Maybe that’s my new dream, making the future reality better than how I’ve imagined it. Vivre le Vorfreude!

Brave ventures and new books

South Texas had a bit of wonky weather this week, and it was not acceptable. I had no time for the freeways to be shut down, school cancellations, or appointment rescheduling. So what to do?

Should I curl up on the couch and say “oh well?” Or do I get up and say “hell no”.

There is a fine line between bravery and foolhardiness. I had to make the decision on if I was going to bet on the weatherman who is less than 50% correct in the summer, let alone in this crazy winter we are having.

When I left the house Tuesday morning, the trees were hanging down with the weight of….wait for it…..Ice. Lots of ice, everywhere, but the street looked reasonable. I checked the traffic cams, no significant closures, and the high temp for Tuesday was supposed to be 50 degrees. I headed out.

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It’s been many years since I’ve driven in freezing rain, but it went reasonably well. Only two bridges were shut down between Houston and Austin, and getting around them was pretty reasonable, as there was very little traffic.

The weird weather demonstrated it’s fickle self in a little town called Bastrop, Tx. On the south side of the Colorado river the trees looked like they did at home, ice laden and bowing down low. Once I got through town, and about 3 miles north of the Colorado River, it was dry, clear, and there was NO ice anywhere.

My trip paid off, as I was on time for my lunch appointment, my 2:30 went really well, and I found a new book to keep me company.

I started the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I fell in love with it from the very first page. I didn’t know they had made a movie out of it, but once I’m done with the book I will watch it. I’ve never read anything from such an interesting point of view. It’s entrancing, and the characters are so relatable.

My mistake was tying to read it in a restaurant while having dinner Tuesday night. I forgot it was Mardi Gras. Austin doesn’t have a big festival or anything, but I was in the middle of some serious party peeps, and I had to return to the hotel to enjoy my book.

If you haven’t picked up The Book Thief, I highly recommend it.

If you have, I’d love to hear your comments!

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It’s been an outstanding week. I’m quite grateful that I braved the weather, and I’m delighted in the story that I’m fully immersed in for the duration.

Vietnamese Style Grilled Lemongrass Pork

zOld - Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

Vietnamese Style Grilled Lemongrass Pork

Thit Heo Nuong Xa or Vietnamese Style Grilled Lemongrass Pork are grilled pork pieces usually served as a side dish to fried noodle and noodle soups. These addictive meat dish are sweet and savoury and sometimes with a sticky outer layer. The secret on this recipe is the marinade used and the way it is cooked, the thickness of pork is a key element which gives it maximum exposure to the heat and cooking the inside in a short amount of time making it still juicy while quickly caramelizing the outer layer.

Best enjoyed with noodle soup dishes, topping over fried noodles of just plain rice with Asian salad on the side

Ingredients

800g Pork Shoulder, sliced to about 1/2 inch thick pieces

Ingredients (Marinade)

6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pcs shallots, roughly chopped
2 stalk lemongrass (white part only)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce

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