ThreeGoals-AlternativeHello September! 

It’s time again to post some gooooaaaal [the crowd goes wild–insert crowd going wild background sounds here]

This post will be brief and my objectives changed for this week.  Why?  Because sometimes I like to “mix it up”.  Besides, since the goals posted here are mine, I’ve given myself carte blanche to go in any direction I choose with them.  This week, my teeny, tiny goals will be both habit-forming and non-habit forming. The NHF-ing ones will be focused on getting-‘er-done, more than developing a habit.

Again, my goals, my choice.  ;)  Such freedom, what will I do with it.

My 3 goals for this week are these:

1. A 6N6 challenge for myself:  Eat oatmeal six out of seven mornings this week, and do six minutes of exercise first thing in the morning, before doing anything else.

2. Walk: 30 minutes, 2-3 times this week.

3. Acknowledge 3 people for help given this week, either on social media or in
social settings.

I think these are teeny and tiny enough as to make them doable.  We’ll see.  I will get back to you…

Do you like setting goals and working to see them done?  If not, why not?  What teeny, tiny changes will you make this week that will help you feel good about yourself?

Rhubarb Me! The Experiment Ends

Disclaimer: This post is long and full of pie references, so don’t blame me if you’re hungry when you’ve finished reading.

This summer I have been experimenting with pies. Rhubarb pies, to be exact.  At some point this summer my brother said those words that etched themselves in my mind: Pie Me!

Note: He didn’t really say those words, but that was his meaning.

My brother was on a quest to enjoy a slice of rhubarb pie that tasted like what he remembered our Gramma serving up when he was but a boy.

Note, also:  I do not like rhubarb pie.

Let me rephrase: in the past, I did not like rhubarb pie.  Since this summer experiment began, I have learned to like it more.  During the course of the summer I have made four, count them, four, rhubarb pies, with mixed results.  What we were shooting for with this experiment was a rhubarb cream pie like Gramma Foulkrod used to make. What we got was something south of that–some good, some not so good results.

What follows is my summary of our summer time experimenting with rhubarb and pie:

Pie No. 1 we do not have true photographic evidence for, it was that unworthy.  This is a stock picture of a true cream pie:  Mine looked pinker, due to the food coloring I added.  This one is light in comparison. Mine was yucky brown in color.

000rhubarb creamPie No. 1 was a true cream pie in every sense of the word.  It’s shell was baked separate from the filling, which was done on top of the range.  It looked like light brown baby puke. So much so, that we had to add red food dye to the filling before gifting it to my brother.  Pie No. 1 was wayyyyy too sweet for this sugar addict, which is saying something.  No, I did not like Pie No. 1, which is probably why I didn’t take a picture of it before we sent it off to my brother’s house to be consumed.  That, and the fact that I had no idea I would be making four rhubarb pies as the summer went on.  Pie No. 1 was not what he was looking for, but I think it got eaten. If not, I was not told about it being thrown away.  It was not a great representation of rhubarb pie if you ask me.

Nothing to see here. Move on.

Pie No. 2 was what I would call a custard pie, and not a cream pie. My contention is that if the pie filling is baked inside the crust, you do not have an authentic cream pie no matter how creamy the filling might end up being.  Pie No. 2 was creamy and custardy, and what I would call a rhubarb custard pie.

Pie No. 2 had a few problems.  First, I cut the rhubarb pieces too small. I diced them, when they should have been cut in 1″ sections (remember that if you attempt a rhubarb pie). You want to taste the rhubarb, and not just the cream in the filling.  Pie No. 2 also looked to me to be more quiche than pie, but here are a few pictures for you, so you can judge for yourself.

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Pretty creamy, but still custardy too, and it looked like it had ham in it.  This pie had orange juice concentrate in the filling.  The OJ added a nice tang to the pie, but it did not taste a lot like Gramma’s pie, so we pressed on.  I don’t think my brother got a bite of this pie, but Megan liked it very much and she is a rhubarb pie connoisseur.

Pie No. 3 was baked a few weeks later.  Pie No. 3 got really big in the oven. It grew and grew, and grew, until when I took it out the top was about an inch above the pan, but all that inflation was meringue that sank as the pie cooled.

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Pie No. 3 was wayyy more custardy than Pie No. 2, and I attributed that to the fact that I didn’t read the instructions for Pie No. 2 (same recipe on pie 2 and 3, but different results), and mixed the meringue in with the filling my first go around.  It was supposed to be held until the end, them gently folded in, but the recipe didn’t say that until the end.  Ugh.  The flavor and texture for this pie were still off and not what Gramma had made for my brother, so we pressed on once more.

Pie No. 4 was my last attempt; made last Sunday night.  In my opinion, it was the worst of the lot (and this once was purported to be Gramma’s original recipe).  This pie was not at all what I expected, and my brother said it wasn’t what he remembered either. I had a few complaints with this recipe, but first the photographic evidence.

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Yes, it really did look that dark when it was done baking!

Doesn’t that look dry and burned?  I left it in for less time than the recipe called for, and still it was overdone.  The top looks nasty, but it didn’t taste as bad.  It was too brown, though; even the crust got too brown.  The temperature the recipe called for (400 degrees F), was too high in my opinion, and the bake time much too long (50 minutes). One thing I will say is that I did not have the full amount of rhubarb that was called for by the time I got to this pie, so that may have changed the results.  Also, the rhubarb I had was frozen, and my experience has been that if you want a good rhubarb pie, you have to use fresh rhubarb.  I’m glad I checked on the pie before it was set to be done or it would have been a cinder.  This pie tasted okay, but it lacked the freshness the pies had when adding OJ to the filling.

This pie had nutmeg in it, which seemed really wrong to me.  It was!  Don’t get me wrong, I like nutmeg, but it seemed inappropriate for this filling.  Out of step with the season made for rhubarb pie, if you know what I mean.  It felt more like a Thanksgiving or Christmas pie, instead of a summer fruit pie.

When all was said and done, I think my favorite was Pie No. 2, the pie Megan liked, and my brother didn’t get to sample. Go figure!  Poor bro didn’t get to taste that one, but we enjoyed it. 

If it had more fruit in it, if the pieces were bigger, and if the OJ remained, enhanced by a bit of nutmeg, I think we might have a winner in Pie No. 2.  My experimentation with rhubarb is done for this summer, but I am looking forward to trying something new.

Next up: Peaches and Cream pie. Any takers?  We serve it with hot coffee and whipped cream at my house.  Can I see a show of hands? Who’s in?

Do you like pie? What is your favorite pie flavor?

Three Goals Thursday

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last month or so, you know I’m on a campaign to kick-start my life by developing a few good habits. 

I’m a big fan of habit because I’ve seen with my own eyes the power It possesses.  Think of those folks who are in bondage to bad habits: smokers, drug and alcohol addicts, and compulsive over eaters.  What about those cheaters involved in the Ashley Madison scandal?  If they are not in bondage to bad habits, I don’t know who is.

Now flip the coin and look at the under side of habit.  Think about that ad campaign Staples launched a few years ago with the EASY BUTTON.

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We saw it over and over again; Someone would hit the button and a pre-recorded message from inside would say: That was easy!

I want easy!

I want action, accomplishment, and implementation that doesn’t require so much work!

I want habit!

Does that make any sense to anyone but me?

I’ve been on a habit quest and goal-setting has been my means of gettin’ ‘er done. This past week, my goals were these:  eat right and exercise every day, read something uplifting and think about how powerful God is, and finally, to daily ask my mate:  “What are you concerned about?”

Here’s how it went with my goals:

I paid special attention to my eating and exercise this week. Yay! They went well.  I have not lost any significant weight in about six months, but I keep at it. Health is my goal, and not a skinny body, if that were even possible for me.

I read more inspirational material, but I feel like I failed at this goal.  I’m not sure why.  It may be that I wasn’t targeted enough in what I was aiming to do, or that my goal was too broad in scope.  Either way, I’m not seeing any new habit formation with this goal, so I think I will replace it with another this week.

My final report is on the time I have spent with my hubs, asking him about his concerns each day. What a blessing!  The knowledge I’ve gained about what concerns Bob has been a powerful motivator to pray for him more often and more specifically, and here’s the gem–I pray about what concerns HIM, not what I am concerned about regarding him.  BIG difference!

My Bob is a lover of family, people, animals, and motorcycles. All these concern him, and it has been a complete blessing to hear him talk about his impressions about each one of them and what he feels is a challenge with each one, each day.

His clutch cable on his bike broke the other night, so it was taken to the garage.  The repairs concerned him, and rightly so.  He does some of his best visitin’ on that bike.  That being the case, the repairs became important to me, too.  He got the bike back yesterday, so that concern was addressed and dealt with in a timely fashion. Thank you, God, for a quick and inexpensive repair.

Bob loves to ride!!!

Important note about my goals:  I am learning a lot about myself by posting goals, working to achieve them, and finding frustrations or fruitful pursuits in the outcomes, so it’s all good!

Today is Thursday, and I’m ready to set some new goals for the next seven days of living.  This week, I will focus on making sure my goals are teeny, tiny, and easily achievable, which is the secret to building winning scenarios in all areas of life.

My 3 teeny, tiny goals for this week will be:

  1. Eat right and do my exercises first thing in the morning.  I borrowed a Thai Chi DVD from the library and will work on that this week.
  1. Ask my hubs every day, “What concerns you today?” then allow him time to speak of his concerns without interruption.  This goal is reaping such rewards that I cannot let go of it until a habit is firmly established.
  1. Identify and log one example of God’s power at work in my life or vicinity each day.  This should be teeny, tiny and focused enough to be doable.  My point with this goal is to have a more conscious awareness every day of God’s power and my ability to draw on it for daily strength in my walk with Him.  I’m excited to see how this goal develops over the week and will let ya know how it goes.

My declaration for today:  I will live the rest of 2015 purposefully, and I will do so by setting teeny, tiny goals for myself and working to achieve them each week. God being my helper, I will!

What goals are you setting for yourself these days?  When has achieving a goal you set for yourself helped you feel empowered?

Caffeine Headache

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hot coffee

“There is a place I like to go that serves up the best iced coffee, but its always so strong,” whinned Jane.

“Too strong!”

“When I drink it, I get a caffeine headache.

I’ve been known to get the jitters, too.”

“But I love it,” she murmured, as she held her head and explained her damaging obsession for the thick and creamy blended bean to her less than sympathetic friend.

What’s a gal to do?  She loved her brew!

Are you a coffee drinker?  How do you like the java best: served-hot, iced, creamy, sugary, or black?

A Day Late

ThreeGoals-AlternativeThree Goals, just three lil goals, but they are making such a bit difference in my life.

How can that be?

I suspect it is because with these goals comes focused attention to details, a desire to achieve, and a direction to head in; proof that hard work, when repeated daily, produces results.

Woohoo!  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

So, what will my three goals be this week?  I’ll get to those, but first let me report on the fulfillment of my goal mission for this week.

My goals were these:

  1. …eat right and exercise.

2.  …spend five to ten minutes each morning reading something uplifting and thinking about how much power God has, and how often I forget that.

3.  …ask my mate:  “What are you concerned about?”  After asking the question, I will listen and offer no advice or feedback other than a hug or a word of encouragement about how much I trust God to direct him to the places He wants him to be in life.  This goal will be about “connecting” with my partner in life, and not directing his life–big difference.

I did pretty well achieving my goals this week.  Funny and true story, goal no. 3, while being my goal, was also a goal/technique a friend of mine used to communicate with her hubby this week.  We had both heard Chip Ingram share the same message, except she heard it all, I only heard a snippet. My snippet included that third goal as a strategy for connecting with your mate and finding out what is really going on with him or her.  It worked wonderfully in my instance, and from what I heard from my friend it worked for her, too.

Yay!

One of the goals I had for last week I did not do so well at, though. Can you guess which one?

It was No. 2.  With all the oatmeal eating and exercise-doing first thing in the morning, I did not get much early a.m. reading done. I did, however, try to focus my mind on the power of God each day.

He is powerful, so powerful!

This week I am going to switch things up a lil bit.

My teeny, tiny goals for this week will revolve around my love:

1. Each day I will ask my spouse what is concerning him. This worked so great last week that I want to do it again this week.  Time alone, working on one-on-one conversation is important in any relationship.  We need to hear each other better. 

2. Each day this week I will ask my husband what he thinks is a priority in our lives together, right now. I will remain excited to hear his thoughts on the matter.

3. Each day this week I will create for my mate a love note. I may leave it in plain view, or hide it from others sight. I will allow myself to get creative with this goal.  This is gonna be fun! 

A good marriage is a miracle, is it not?

What will you do to “connect” with your significant other this week?  What fun things might you do to say, “I love you!” without saying a word?

 

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

What’s important to you?

What do you want to be remembered for?

You get to choose, every day!

How will you be remembered when your kids are of age…

…when they stand at your grave?

While you think about it, give this a listen. 

ps: my apologies for any questionable commercials or previews You Tube might include on the front end of the music video I have linked you to today.  I don’t know how to share these songs any other way.