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Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year (A Day Late...)

Everyone is hopeful when the new year begins.  People make new plans and resolutions, as well as, plans to leave all the old stuff behind.  My 2011 was not bad - it just brought a lot of change.  Change is good, but sometimes the process is hard.  Life can be hard at times.

I look at the new year as being something I grow with.  I want to have more balance in my life.  I tend to go full throttle on just one thing - a hyper focus if you will.  Then I begin to wear down, loosing steam as time progresses.  I haven't been great at balancing multiple plates at one time.  However, I have come to realize that I pick up WAY too many plates at a time and then get frustrated at myself that I did that! I look at people I know well and wonder how they do it. How do they manage to do so much and not wear themselves slap out? First of all, they may not do it all.  It may appear as thought they do it all.  I'm just the bystander watching from the outside.  What is really going on on the inside?  My job is to find a balance between my yes's and my no's...a balance between work time and down time.

As this week begins, I start it with a very heavy heart.  Last night I received a phone call from a friend telling me that another friend of mine has passed away quite quickly.  Shock is NOT the word - I don't know that there are actual words to express my feelings.  Rennie and I were very close to this friend and so very sad of her passing.  We have very fond memories with her.  I will miss our "Suz" and will always have our sweet time together in my heart.

On a lighter note I began a 365 challenge yesterday.  The challenge is to take one (or more) photos a day of just random things about your life - the good, the bad, the ugly..  I believe that every life is important  - that everyone has a story and every story matters.  The challenge is also to journal about that photo, with gratitude. Want to join me?

My photos depict our New Year's Day dinner. Good ole southern cookin'! Ham, black eyed peas, rice, collard greens and corn bread.  Yummo!  Our course it is not the healthiest of meals, but non the less, very tasty.  

Feeling very blessed to be raised in the south, I think back to my Grandmother Parks who taught me how to cook without really "teaching" me.  She allowed me to stand by her side everyday for the first nine years of my life, and watch her cook - and after that when I would visit her.  Never did she tell me that I was bothering her and for me to get out of her way.  I ate REALLY well when with her.  She would load my up on the vegetables, that were grown in her own garden, and fry up some awesome chicken! My food may not look like a cookbook photo, but it is finger lickin' good!

 Soaking the dried black eyed peas early in the morning before I began cooking.  I could make a meal off these alone (and actually will for the next several days - I cooked enough for an army!).
 The collards prior to cooking - they stink up the house, but taste oh so good.
 Since our kitchen is the size of a thimble (9x6) and only has two counter tops, we use a roaster to cook larger meats.  We had to place the roaster on the table due to having no room on the two counters that I have.  We love using the roaster and it works well with our little to no kitchen space.
Not a gourmet meal, but a good one at that.  Simple but tasty.   Hey, at least I used my grandmother's china plates - that fancied it up a bit! 

For this meal and every meal, I am thankful. I am thankful to know how to cook and that the Lord provides for us.  Thankful that I had a loving and kind grandmother that never made me feel "in the way" and showed me everyday that I was loved and appreciated.  Thankful that my husband loves the way I cook and always enjoys our meals together.  Grateful...very grateful!

I hope you decide to join my challenge - take a photo, journal about it - appreciate the small things and find something good about the bad things.  Photo journal your life.  Begin a blog.  You may not think it matters much, but it does matter to someone!

Until next time...~Pamela

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