Monday, January 31, 2011

Pantry Challenge

Ok, are ready!  It is time to eat everything in the pantry.... 

No, not all at once!  

We endeavor to actually eat what is already in our pantry and not go grocery shopping until we do.  For one month (and more if this goes well), we plan to get creative.  We have some interesting things in the pantry.  Take a look below:

We will need to go to the grocery for things like milk, eggs, and things that may compliment a specific recipe.  Most recently when I did the pantry inventory, I ventured to use some unique items including, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, wheat germ and adobe seasoning.  All of which have not see the light of day for some time now. 

You may be wondering how we used these interesting items (glad you asked ;-): stir- fried orange chicken, broccoli cheese strudel and adobe rice with sausage--yum!

So why embark on this adventure?  I suppose because we can.  So many times I look in the cupboard and say we have nothing to eat.  It is time to prove myself wrong.  There are some interesting things in there and with a little planning, we can make some tasty stuff. 

With busy schedules and hunger in the belly as soon as we hit the door of the house after a long day, it is often hard to "see" the possibilities in the fridge and cupboard.  By taking a little time, doing an inventory and planning recipe, I think we will be ahead both in the pocketbook and in the stress department.  I find that my life goes much smoother when there is a plan in place. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Garbage In, Garbage Out--no more

So, yesterday, Kye got out of the car to go to school and I said, "Your dad will be picking you up today."  He looked at me with dismay and said in a very whiny, blame induced voice, "You always say stuff that I already know!".  And then he was off...traveling up the sidewalk, entering the school. 

This small but significant interaction gave me a window into my world.  And, if you can hang in there, I will share with you one of the major dilemmas I have and continue to work on.

Some back thoughts about this situation is that I realized that Kye was tired.  He did not get enough sleep.  He was downright grumpy.  And, that probably had nothing to do with me.  It is a blessing to "know" these kind of things-- otherwise I could spend significant time wondering if I am somehow ruining his life by "telling him stuff".

Let's face it, there are times when people blame you when you are not to blame.  The trickiest thing is not getting locked into a desire to hear them out or fall into an endless examination of your conscious. 

What is difficult for me is that I take people's criticism as a gift and in their giving, it suggests that I am approachable and that I can grow from their gift.  Truth be told though, we need to not take all criticism as a golden nugget.  In fact, sometimes it suits us best to barely let the "feedback" filter in. 

I am reading a book called, The Law of the Garbage Truck by David J. Pollay.  This book talks about the garbage trucks we encounter in our lives--people dumping on us, what we can do about them and how not to become one. 

Here are the commitments he suggests:
1.  Do let garbage trucks pass you by.
2.  Do let your own garbage trucks pass you by.
3.  Do avoid becoming someone else's garbage truck.
4.  Do help the garbage trucks you can.
5.  Do honor our no garbage trucks! Pledge.
6.  Do live in the gratitude cycle and live free of the garbage cycle.
7.  Do declare your life a no garbage trucks! Zone.
8.  Do declare your work a no garbage trucks! Zone.

You can take the pledge or learn more about garbage trucks here.

From this point I am hoping to define, early on, whether some one's attitude or feedback is worth my energy reserves.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kill the Idea

Fr. Bay, pastor at Sts. Augustine Gabriel, during a homily shared that he was imprisoned in Vietnam for attempting to escape the country.  He desired to escape in order to become a priest.  For some reason, he was not permitted to do this in his native country. 

He attempted escape many times and was imprisoned many times.  Over time, he began to lose heart for his goal. 

During this time he would pray, "God, please make a way for this, or kill the idea in me". 

This seems like a practical and poignant prayer.  I can relate.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

This is my year.  My year to face the truth, live in the present and take each day with eyes wide open.  I may not know how to go quite about it yet, but I am determined.  I know that  focus is one thing that can aid me in the process.

I have had this thought before when thinking about my diet.  I have known for many years that to deny myself anything is just to increase my desire for that very thing.  So, in the past, I have thought to curb my sugar intake or stop eating unhealthy foods to no avail.  Instead, I have successfully fooled myself by deciding to infuse my diet with vegetables and fruits.  Lo' and behold, I have experienced positive effects.  Likewise, I have a feeling that I can apply this same principal to other areas of my life.   They say that your thoughts will lead you to your reality. 

Now, what to think about?  And how to think about it? 

I want to fill my world with positive thoughts--good memories, gratitude, ideas, inspiration, motivation, excitement, possibilities, shared promises, intellectual banter, dreams, acknowledgement of my senses etc.  I want to chose my thoughts rather than be victim to them. 

There is also research suggesting that your thoughts can rework your brain as shared in this npr tidbit. And, truth be told, my brain needs reworking.