Counting the Wins

We are halfway through the year.

It’s gone by so fast.

It’s been a year of loss, accidents, unfortunate incidents, stress, and disappointment.

It’s been a year of travel, wonderful places to visit, reacquainting with cousins and old friends, new photo challenges, Graduations, and new clients.

My family has been hit with some challenges recently that I can’t go into right now, as we won’t know for sure what we are dealing with until next week.

So I’m focusing on how to bring the family together, and the way I know I can do that is by cooking.

Cooking is something I turn to, that very rarely lets me, or anyone else down. We can relax around table, talk, plan, strategize, and pray.

I need something to focus, and keep my fingers busy. These are some of the dinner wins for this year. I just have to decide which will be perfect for our family get together.

Which one do you think would work?

Maybe some Beef Wellington. My family likes beef, and this is just fancy enough and filling enough to make everyone slow down and enjoy the meal. It’s a little complicated, but that’s a good thing for focus.

Speaking of beef, I could put together the King of Beef Entrees, Prime Rib. The family loves Prime Rib, and there will be plenty to send home with the nephews. But I did make it at Christmas….time has gone by. It could be time for the Prime again.

Or, we could do Ham. Everyone loves ham with potatoes, roasted carrots and onions. Ham is easy to send home too.

Maybe some Lamb? Lamb isn’t for everyone, but it’s easy to eat with the fingers, if we decide to stand around and snack. I could do a Tapas sort of thing, and there won’t be any pressure.

Some Salmon? Something low carb, good fat, and super tasty. It’s also a one pan meal and the lemon garlic broccoli is amazing.

The low carb-one pan options continue. This one wins every time. Filet and asparagus, easy, elegant, and not a lot to fuss over with the clean up.

Which Way Photo Challenge 4/11/19

Greetings from Northeastern United States. I’ve got some fun things to show you from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Welcome to the 4/11/19 Which Way Photo Challenge. A big thank you to Son of a Beach for continuing the challenge. Check out his blog for some great photos and other challenges.

Here’s my take on it from the Historic Boardwalk.

Choosing to focus on Gratitude

It’s been a tough month. Travel, work, a beloved pet passing, a parent suffering a major fall, another parent moving to full nursing care, selling a parents home, moving all the old stuff, family drama, and I got out of balance and tried to cook my way into a sense of normal.

The sorrow, knowing that my dad will pass soon.

The sorrow knowing my mother in law will pass soon too.

The sorrow over the loss of Rascal.

The swamping, suffocating feeling of helplessness, as things have to be done, now, not later.

It Steals my motivation, energy, and care.

There’s So Much Talk Of Being Wild
— Read on

CaptainQ had this post this morning. He’s talking about how people on social media appear perfect, and work hard to adjust the perception all the time with their perfect punctuation, pictures etc. It was the right post, at the right time for me. I think I’m a wild and free individual, but maybe I’ve focused on keeping my image a little too “perfectly punctuated.”

I try to keep things reasonably light, and my purpose is to focus on gratitude. I’m not grateful For everything, but I find ways to focus on the good things in my life when the circumstances I’m (neck deep) in aren’t always good.

To drag myself out of the swamping emotions, and feelings of helplessness I choose to be grateful today for:

  1. A really sweet phone call from my husband this morning.
  2. The rain is gone for today, I’ll get to see the sunshine
  3. Time to exercise
  4. My warm and comfy home
  5. My job
  6. Our other dog, Dolly, is eating more, and she seems to be coming out of her sorrow over Rascals passing.
  7. The opportunity to be good to someone today.

Thanks for taking time to read, and I hope wherever you might be, that your Friday is Fabulous.

What are you grateful for today?

Idioms, secret languages, inflections are important.

I love language.

The intricacies, the inflections, the understanding, the assumptions.

Language isn’t hard, it just takes practice. It takes listening, listening, listening.

Then talking, talking, taking.

Being a speaker of English, studier of English, and lover of all the forms of English. I have an admission:

Shakespeare gave me fits: Until I understood the humor and politics. Keven Branagh’s renditions helped me to understand the strange words on the Shakespearean page.

I couldn’t understand Jane Austin until I saw A&E’s version of Pride and Prejudice. Until I could hear the intonation, and inflection the book was lost on me.

So for all of you who are challenged with inflections, idioms, or local customs of Texas, I thought I would share some Texan inflections of two words. As of Today, there are 1000 people a day moving to Texas, and they have no clue what we are talking about. Here is a sample.

You Good. It means many things here, and if you are ever traveling to the Republic of Texas, here’s how to translate these two English words while in the Republic: YOU GOOD.

Image from Pinterest.

And there’s my contribution to society for the betterment, wellbeing, and understanding.

Enchant your Everyday: Temperence

Ok, true confession.  I had to look this one up.


noun tem·per·ance \ˈtem-p(ə-)rən(t)s, -pərn(t)s\

Simple Definition of temperance

: the practice of drinking little or no alcohol

: the practice of always controlling your actions, thoughts, or feelings so that you do not eat or drink too much, become too angry, etc.

Thank you Miriam Webster for that fascinating definition.

To use Temperence in a sentence:

Wendy has always been a bit of a wild child, she is not particularly good at Temperence.  Or

Wendy has always displayed her passions for food, wine, and dancing; Temperence is not her strong suit.

Obviously, because I had to look it up.


Emerging from a dark place

The last few years have been……difficult.  Disease, hospitals, rejection, cursing, condemnation, death, loss, funerals, estate sales, destruction, interference, and lectures.  I think being preached at by my mother’s pastor at her graveside service was my undoing.  Throw menopause, severe hormonal imbalance,and job loss in the mix……I was in a firestorm for quite a long time.

Being a strong person, I internalized everything.  My standard response to everything was “I’m fine.”  I thought if I could just keep moving, I would eventually come out on the other side.  My husband became quite concerned for me, my brother became quite a bother over his concern for me.  Friends disappeared, as I would not engage.  I came to hear the phrase “What is wrong with Wendy?”over, and over, and over and over.  It really pissed me off.  I’m mean really?  3 deaths in 18 months, my son’s pace maker, my father disowning me because I wouldn’t let his wife take over my son’s pacemaker situation, my mother cursing me as she demanded me care for her, her interfering neighbors and church friends undoing everything I put together,  the wolves of convention chanting “what’s wrong with you”, not being able to keep up at work, losing my dream job, my body deciding to change on me in the middle of it?  What the fuck?  I’d like to see anyone keep up as well as I did for three years of this continual crap.

Desperate to have some control over my life, I started a concentrated focus on cultivating gratitude, and I made the decision to contol my thoughts.

My mind would play:  “What’s wrong with Wendy?”

I would fight back:  “That’s not my thought!  I’m an amazing, talented woman with a great big, loving heart.”

My mind would play my mother’s cursing:  “You are nothing, no one likes you, no one wants to be around you!  You don’t know God!  You had better….”

I would fight back:  “That’s not my thought!  I’m greatly loved by my family, and it is written in my bible, that I am the beloved of God.”

My mind would play:  “Everything is going wrong, you can’t make it.”

I would fight back:  “That’s not my thought!  I’ve got so much to be grateful for.  I woke up today.  My heart is beating, and I’m able to breathe.  I have the strength to clean my house.  I have a family who loves me.”

This blog, that will be celebrating 3 years in just 2 short months has helped me really focus on harnessing my thoughts.  Here, I have cultivated gratitude.  It has been a gardening project in many ways.  I’ve pulled the weeds, the invasive, destructive weeds like “What’s wrong with Wendy”, “I’m so depressed”, “I just can’t”, “no one likes you”, and other negative things, that choked out the beauty of my design.  I’ve turned the fallow ground of my abandoned imagination and planted seeds of self care, care for others, and joy.  I’ve chosen to plant “Yes, I can”, “I’m so grateful for what I have”, and “I’m going to try anyway, even though I don’t feel like it.” 

Here I’ve met new friends, enjoyed the beauty of their journeys, and became better at externalizing and letting go.  I’ve grown out of my damaged self, and I’m so much better for it.

I don’t mean to imply that I don’t still have challenges, but I’ve come a long way.  I’m so grateful for that.

I’m also supremely grateful for the encouragement, kindness, and uplifting comments from my WordPress family.

Thanks everyone.