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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat

Grandma's never run out of kisses or candy

For the third year in a row this grandma will be helping out at our family center Halloween Carnival. My job is to keep the ducks, swimming in a kiddie pool, in line. The tiny costumed customers try to toss metal rings around a duck's neck to earn a prize. I thought my young grandson would be assisting me this year until I got a phone call from him saying, "Grandma I didn't know the Halloween carnival was on Halloween I would rather go trick or treating!" Maybe next year.

In my opinion Future Foundations Family Center is one of the best things that has ever happened to Grants, NM. It gives our youth a safe place to spend their time after school, with no charge to the parents and during the summer with a minimal charge. It encourages our older youth to help with community projects such as the upcoming outreach program to provide a thanksgiving dinner for the area homeless. The Youth Core is helping to cook the meal.

It is also the home of Write On People, the writing group that I started a year ago. Although the group has remained small it does not dampen our spirit or our desire to encourage writers to open up and share their gifts with others. Some of the subjects we have explored during the year are: humorous resolutions, hate, scars, wind, lessons learned, family and friends and volunteering. Our individual writing efforts have also led to some lively discussions.

Last month our group was asked to start a writing group with residents at our local nursing home.This facility is doing a wonderful job of offering projects to help the residents stay positive. After the activity director made the comment "they didn't come here to die" it inspired us to volunteer our time on a regular basis. The motto for the facility is "In Christ's Love Everyone is Someone"

Although volunteering does not reap monetary rewards it gives back in ways that those who don't reach out to help others will never get. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy thoughts

The two things that make me the happiest are cooking and sharing my thoughts so...

Chocolate Surprise Brownies
(from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson)

1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbl oil
4 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ripe banana
2 Tbl instant coffee
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup (vegan) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease an 8" square baking dish.
In a food processor combine the black beans, sugar and oil, blend until smooth. Add the banana, coffee and vanilla.

Scrape mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Scrape the batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack, then refrigerate for several hours before cutting.

Think happy thoughts while savoring this delicious surprise!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Saying goodbye

I began writing this blog almost three years ago and I am seriously thinking of ending its life. I am sitting here wondering who would care? Probably not many people. In the length of its life it has been at least partly responsible for my daughter and one of my twin grand-daughters to stop speaking to me. They both took offense to different things I had written and as a result decided that I am a terrible person that they want nothing more to do with. I was even told by one of them not to ever mention that fact in my books or future writings. Sorry my dear, but no one tells me what I can and cannot write.

This space has over time given me a place to share my opinions, some of which have been shaped by friends and other writers. It has been a place to keep the world up to date on my progress as a human in this lifetime. We all have our own path to follow and did not come here with a book of rules on how to move past the challenges placed before us. I am sure I have pissed a lot of people off during my life. The mature souls get over it. The immature just continue to be pissed off.

It seems lately that I have no more to say and instead of being fun, writing this blog has become a chore. My intuition is saying perhaps it is time to wrap it up and say goodbye. So if you don't hear from me again you will know I listened and pulled the plug. Please know that I sincerely appreciate those loyal readers who have stuck by me no matter what I do or write.

When one door closes another opens.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Looking back on creation

Examining the experiences, conversations and lessons of the last fifteen years or so has provided me with a reason to be very grateful. Interestingly, the experiences that seemed the most traumatic at the time were the very ones that caused me to grow the most.

Those people who by their actions abruptly pushed me out of their lives helped me realize that I never needed them in the first place or I had simply outgrown them. Quite often the student moves past the teacher when the time is right.

Today as I look at the lives of the people who in the past accused me of having negative traits I see those very traits predominant in their lives, especially the tendency to manipulate and control others. That's  laughable from my vantage point.

I remember almost a year ago wondering what I had done to piss of God/Source. Just recovering from surgery, looking at my bathroom ceiling about ready to collapse from snow damage and having to replace a 35 year old furnace in the coldest winter in over 20 years made me wonder what was going on in my life. Now I see they were lessons trying to teach me, hopefully for the last time, that everything was going to be alright if I just had faith in a positive outcome.

My health is back to normal, I have a new furnace, a new bathroom ceiling and by some miracle every bill I owed is paid. I am looking back and asking "Did I do that?"

Today I am very grateful for the experiences I see in my past.