Churchill was wrong when he said “All we have to fear is fear itself”

English: Cowboy style boots

English: Cowboy style boots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 Krista’s prompt for today: People are afraid of all kinds of things: spiders, the dark, or being enclosed in small spaces. Tell us about your greatest fear — rational or irrational.

My greatest fear is that I will not reach my potential. People dream of retiring—but I do not. I dream of dying with my boots on—doing whatever it is at the time that I am passionate about.

Here are some other things I am afraid of:

1. Touching dead insects – you know when you see a speck on the floor and pick it up and then find out that it is a dead bug? Well that creeps me out. Live spiders do not bother me, but touching one that is dead does.

2. Driving beyond 15 miles from my house because that gets me into the dangerous territory of four lane highways, lots of traffic, and panic-driven mistakes. I did not get my licence until I was thirty-five and I still believe that me driving just locally (and never on snow or ice covered streets) has saved the lives of countless people.

3. Looking silly when I do not mean to be silly. Looking silly when you mean to be silly is a totally different thing.

4. Having to wear one of those beeper things around my neck and tell someone “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” That is my nightmare. I no longer laugh at those commercials. I think about the fact that that could be me someday.

5. Sticking my hand into a bag of potatoes and getting a rotten one. This fear harkens back to my childhood when my family kept 50 pound bags of potatoes in a shed outback (we called the shed “The Building”) and being sent out there at supper time to get potatoes. I stuck my hand in rotten potatoes several times and the stink and slime of the experience is still a very bad memory.

6. Trick or treaters who are taller than I am.

*7. Bananas.

8. Finding something hard when you bite into something soft. I realize that this needs some explanation—my husband once bit into frozen yogurt and found a piece of glass.

9. Heights. Or more specifically—looking down from heights.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse (Photo credit: Bill Deys)

10. Climbing a narrow ladder that goes straight up—was in a lighthouse once with a very narrow ladder that led to where the light was and I got stuck halfway up and had to come down. Now if you think I am a chicken, I must tell you that before we were allowed in the lighthouse and near the ladder we had to sign a waiver. That should have been my first warning.

*I am not really afraid of bananas—just wanted to see if you were awake.

So what do you fear?

Published in: on November 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm  Comments (27)  
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Happy Happenstances

 

Doubling up

Doubling up (Photo credit: Brett Jordan)

Anna Quindlen on the subject of fear and how it changes over time:

“Perhaps instead of scaring ourselves we need to surprise ourselves every day. We are, after all, always a work in progress. There were things I hadn’t done, didn’t know, couldn’t imagine at fifty that have all come true in the last decade. There must be such things to come in the decades to come as well. They arrive not because of the engraved invitations of careful planning but through happy happenstance, doodles on the to-do list of life.”

This was just one bit of pithy advice I gleaned from Quindlen’s latest book, “Lot of Candles, Plenty of Cake”, a memoir of her life. But it is a memoir with a difference, with a message or two or three, with her wry observations of life creating more than one aha moment.

Her quote was based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice that it is important to do something every day that scares us, but Quindlen makes the point that as we put a few years under our belts, fewer thing scare you. So instead she opts for surprise. I would like to opt for surprise, for happy happenstances.

We all have “situations” and “issues” that are big and need to be taken care of. But I have come to the conclusion that we cannot stop living while we are trying to get these resolved. As we are living through them, we have to stop and enjoy the happy happenstances. (try saying that three times fast)

Bliss is the happy happenstances or “the doodles on our life list”. What are your doodles?

If It Is Saturday~Must Be Recipe Day Favourite Easy Recipe of All Time

Mixinsg chocolate chips into cookie batter.

Mixing chocolate chips into batter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t be fooled. I have lots of “Favourite Easy Recipes” of all time, because that is just the way I roll. This recipe is from a magazine and was included in a “Teens in the Kitchen” article. I figured if kids could do it, I could do it. And—this is the important part – it is from scratch and uses real flour. I used to have a fear of flour. I have conquered that fear. I still have a fear of yeast.

My youngest son loves these bars and asks for them all the time. That is a good indication that it is a good recipe. He is one very picky eater.

This recipe also meets my all important criteria of not having more than five ingredients so  I do not get confused.

So, without further ado:

TOFFEE BARS

1 ½ cups butter

1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

3 cups of flour

1 cup of chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350 F

2. Put butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in large bowl and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes until completely combined. Add flour and mix on low for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. (This is not for the faint of heart—by now the cookie dough is quite stiff—good for the biceps!)

3. Put dough in an ungreased 15 X 10 inch baking pan (I don’t have one so use a 10 x 13 I think) and press into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool for only 5 minutes then cut into squares. (If you let them cool longer, they will crack when you cut them).

This is a very forgiving recipe as I am a distracted cook—I think I have added the flour with the butter and brown sugar and vanilla, and I usually mix everything on high (remember my brother’s motto—everything is better on high). Sometimes I do not have vanilla. But I always have chocolate chips. This is like a moist brown sugar shortbread with chocolate chips—could there be anything better?

Seriously easy and seriously delicious.

Anyone have suggestions for me on how to get rid of my fear of yeast?

Active dried yeast, a granulated form in which...

~ A Celebration of Sorts ~

English: Tree, Upper Farringdon This oak tree ...

English: Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning at 10 a.m. I went to the town park to plant a tree with some good friends. The tree was chosen for the way its leaves turn a vibrant red in the fall to match the vibrancy of the  friend that we were planting it for.

We lost our friend last spring. “We” is my Writers’ Group (we obviously put our creativity into our work and not our name). Our friend was a member of our group and she was bipolar. She did not hide it; in fact she almost celebrated it–not in a “party hardy” fashion but as an advocate for those who suffered this puzzling disease with her. She fought it with everything she had, and her family and friends helped her with the fight.

When she was taking the right “cocktail” of drugs, she was balanced, nay normal. Normal—what a word, but I mean normal in that she could handle everyday life. She could get up and function, and most importantly be creative and make other people happy. And she revelled in making other people happy. That is what made her happy.

She called us dudes and dudettes. She told us when we read something at Writers’ Group not to apologize for what we were about to read aloud in the group, and if we did apologize (as writers are wont to do), she commanded us

English: an exercise of chest

push-ups (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

to get down and do push-ups for not minding her wise advice.

The tree was planted on a slope of land at the park, facing the lake. It was carefully chosen to be protected and out of harm’s way.  Professional landscapers did the actual planting, and a friend who works at the park brought over the first pails of water to nourish it.

We planted a tree today in honour of our friend, and this is the poem I wrote for her:

You Are In Our Hearts

We planted a tree today:

In honour of, or in memory of,

Or more appropriately

In celebration of a friend.

Our friend was vibrant

When she was not sad

She was jubilant

Except when she wasn’t.

She lived life to its fullest

When she could

She was braver than brave

Except when she was scared.

We planted a tree today:

In celebration of a life

Lived fully, abundantly, and effusively

Except when she couldn’t.

Goodbye friend

But, it is not farewell

You really do live in our hearts

And speak to our creative souls.

Her accidental death was a shock to our small town. She seemed to have a million friends. I am lucky to have been counted among them. We love you Colene.

Published in: on October 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm  Comments (58)  
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