ALL ABOUT LIFE BEYOND KINDERGARTEN! Kindergarten is the basic building block for all future learning. It is true that everything you need to know in life was really learned in Kindergarten. The trick is to remember what you learned when you were five or six. What you liked then will most likely be something you will like now. So be true to yourself and who you really are and who you will really be. Look back and you just may find your true self! Yes…this blog is about a variety of topics…because we are all a smorgasbord of thoughts and ideas.
It was just a night out to have dinner at a small pizza and pasta restaurant. Last Saturday night…the night we met a particularly friendly waitress. The waitress we won’t soon forget.
We walked inside from the unusually cold Texas night. The warm atmosphere was immediate. Pretty linen tablecloths. A man playing the piano…beautifully playing Broadway tunes, current songs, jazz. Soft lights. Quiet conversations at several tables. This is not the normal pizza place. We felt like we were invited into someone’s home.
After we were seated, our waitress came over to get our drink order. So outgoing. A beautiful smile. Young. Perhaps in her very early twenties. Friendly and confident. Efficient. She even brought us an extra plate so we could share the salad…just because the salad was large. She thought that we might want to both have a salad with our dinner. Thoughtful.
I remember thinking that she seemed especially mature for her age. Probably a college student making extra money. Parents who brought her up correctly…as if anyone really knows the correct way to raise a child.
We soon found out that her parents were far from good parents. As we were about to pay for our dinner, she looked towards the door. “Oh look! It’s my husband’s dad and brother! I love it when my family comes here for dinner!”
When she brought our receipt back, she apologized for getting so excited about someone coming in who we didn’t even know. She went on to explain that her husband’s family was all the family she had. She truly thought that her husband’s family was wonderful. Her own family was in another city, but she didn’t see them anymore.
She didn’t intend to see them until they got their act together. She doubted that they ever would make it. She told us that her family is seriously into dangerous drugs. She said that their lifestyle is not the lifestyle that she wanted. She had practically raised herself.
Without good teachers, she could not imagine where she would be. Eventually she left home…to make it on her own. She soon met her husband and was recently married. Her family did not even know about the pretty wedding. She was going to college and working at the restaurant in the evenings.
Once she started talking, she told us the entire story. She said that she could have been sad. She said that she could have been totally lost. She said that she had faith and that she knew that she was on the right path. She was planning to be a teacher and help someone else make something special of themselves.
What a heartfelt story. A story with such a positive outcome. A story that made us smile for this ambitious young woman who grew up to be so very resilient. Not an ounce of forlornness surrounding our waitress on Saturday night.
Congratulations to a future teacher. She will probably change many lives!
Last year was constantly serious to me. Politics. World Diplomacy. Economics. Education. Terrorism. Hunger. Climate. Animal Rights. Immigration. Isolation. Fear. Threats. Bi-Partisan Absence. Harassment. Distrust. Argue. More Arguments. The Most Arguments.
Important issues bombard us each day. It is sometimes difficult to leave for our daily responsibilities without a heavy heart. Without a new worry. Without a sudden need to talk back to someone about anything. I believe that this negative response to disagreement is leading us down the wrong turn in the road.
When did our innate happiness disappear? Or did it? I have always thought that a cheerful continence is the route to cohesion. Am I the only one who feels this way? Surely not.
When I read the WordPress Daily topic yesterday, I was intrigued. WINSOME? Maybe we need a dose of that kind of medicine. The word “winsome” brings thoughts of pleasing behavior, charm, kindness, honesty and a general feeling of cheer. The idea sounds so childlike. Right? I am not trying to be a “Pollyanna”, but I have seen some mighty childlike behavior from politicians from both sides of the aisle.
Therefore…I suggest some lighthearted moments. Just here and there. We realize how serious the world agenda appears to be. Constant bickering is not the total way to solve the problems. Personally, I am tired of the instant anger.
Let’s start with the basic way to change your immediate atmosphere and attitude. Quit going around with a frown on your face. Quit wearing dark and uninspiring colors. Brighten your immediate world. Lighten your immediate world. I know…just a tiny start. Find your inner “winsome” self…
Find your winsome self. Smile. Agree. Agree to disagree. Compromise. Just try to get along with someone with a cheerful demeanor. We can’t always be serious. At least…we can dress with winsome!
Since it is January 4, I knew that the Valentine’s Day displays would be more than a little obvious in the stores. I saw the signal that February is just around the corner within thirty seconds after entering Central Market. I am surprised that I even had time to get a shopping cart before I was bombarded with bright red hearts.
Trust me…I would never forget the significance of Valentine’s Day! I simply need to recover first from the busy times around the Christmas holidays. I have not even found a place for the extra wrapping paper. I may do that today.
Nevertheless…I have a wonderful cookie recipe that is perfect for Valentine’s Day. So delicious!!!
RED VELVET THUMBPRINT COOKIES
What to have on hand:
*4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
*1/4 cup sugar
*1 large egg
*1 1/2 teaspoons red liquid food coloring
*1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 ounces cream cheese, softened
*1/4 cup white chocolate morsels, melted according to package directions. Cool.
***Garnish: white chocolate morsels
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the egg and food coloring. Beat 30 seconds.
2. Sift the flour with the cocoa and salt in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press thumb or end of a wooden spoon into each ball, forming an indentation.
4. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies are fragrant and dry. While cookies are still warm, press indentations again. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).
5. Stir together cream cheese and melted white chocolate in a small bowl. Fill centers of cookies with cream cheese mixture.
***Garnish the center of each cookie with a white chocolate morsel.***