Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Greatest Lesson We Learn When Someone Is Unkind

Every interaction is a learning experience, character building....making us shiny! Something for which to be thankful! =)   Debbie McKee
By Lonely Girl

“I have learned silence from the talkative, 
toleration from the intolerant, 
and kindness from the unkind.” 
~Khalil Gibran

I recently traveled to Malaysia for a friend’s wedding where I spent four delicious days communing with wild monkeys and feasting on sticky rice. The people were kind and warm, the culture rich, the trip magical.
On my last day in Kuala Lumpur, I was headed out to buy souvenirs for family and friends when I stumbled across the most beautiful temple—filled with ornate gold and red statues, air thick with sweet-smelling smoke.

I wandered around, overcome with majesty, trying to breathe it all in. I was still under the temple’s spell when someone spoke to me.
“Your dress is ugly.”
I looked to my right where the voice had come from. A woman was sitting on a bench, not looking in my direction.
“Sorry?”  I said, thinking I must have misheard. She waved me off.
I stood there for a moment, trying to decide on a course of action. She was American, the first and only other American I’d met during my trip.

Had she really just said my dress was ugly? It was a simple blue affair, uncomplicated and perfect for traveling. Maybe she said my dress was pretty, I thought. I must have misunderstood.
The hurt and confusion was rising to a crescendo in my head. But if I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that we all have a choice of how we choose to respond to what we are given. I chose to engage.
“Did you just say my dress is ugly?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said. “I did.”
I took a deep breath and replied, calmly, “Why would you say that to me?”
“I’m entitled to my opinion,” she said. “Your dress is ugly; I can tell it’s not well made. Your purse is dirty. I am free to voice my thoughts and those are my thoughts about you.” 

To say it felt like getting slapped in the face would be an understatement; it was more of a punch to the gut. My blood boiled, my heart raced, and still I kept my voice at an even keel.
“You are entitled to your own opinion,” I said. “But we also live in congress with other human beings. Why would you say something so aggressive and unkind?”
At which point she reiterated her insults. Her words sliced coolly into the way I looked and the clothes I wore. That’s when I said the one thing I regret saying.

“I wish there were fewer Americans like you traveling abroad,” I told her. “You give the rest of us a bad name.”
I turned and walked away, and she yelled one more barb at my back as I walked out of the temple. I didn’t turn around.
My hands were shaking as I walked down the street. I felt a strange knot of emotions in my chest: hurt, anger, fear.
I was irrationally terrified that I would run into her again, that she would be sitting in the seat next to me on my flight home and I would be subjected to seventeen hours of her cruelty, unable to escape.

But most of all I felt baffled. Why did this woman choose to attack me? Why had she said what she said?
I couldn’t call my boyfriend, who was back in our sunny home in California, or my best friend in DC—both of whom were sound asleep halfway across the world. So I was left to process what had happened on my own, in a foreign country, without my normal triumvirate of “healthy coping mechanisms”: yoga, conversation, tea.
And here’s what it all came down to: kindness.
I had just read the wonderful convocation address given by George Saunders to the Syracuse class of 2013. George talks about something he calls a “failure of kindness,” and those three words were very much on my mind.

Yes, you could say I had suffered from a failure of kindness. But what I realized was that I, too, had been unkind.
I wish I hadn’t said what I said to her. That came from a place of being wounded, of feeling the need to fight back. I wish I had said: “I hope the people you meet are kind.”
Because I do hope that for her. I hope that she is bathed in loving-kindness, that she is inundated with so much that she cannot help but share it with the world.
While it’s true that kindness engenders kindness, the lack of it can be a powerful teacher.
For my remaining hours in Kuala Lumpur, I was abundantly kind to everyone I met. I complimented a girl on her joyful spirit, told shop owners how beautiful their merchandise was, smiled widely and genuinely. I made a point to be kind to these warm, generous people who had so kindly shared their country with me.
And every time I was shown kindness, no matter how small, I felt immeasurably grateful.

That woman gave me a great gift. She reminded me that we all have a choice to be kind, and we are presented with that choice many times a day.

Say a kind word to someone you don’t know.

It doesn’t have to be an eloquent oration—a simple compliment can make someone’s day. If you like a man’s tie or a woman’s necklace, tell them so. And if you are struck by someone’s personality or spirit, thank them for it.

Write a note to someone you appreciate.

Tell a co-worker, family member, or friend what you appreciate about them. Don’t hold back. These are the sorts of gifts people treasure, often keeping that little slip of paper (or Facebook post) for many years to come.

Tip someone who doesn’t normally get tips.

This was easy in Malaysia, where tipping is rare—one young woman was so happy she went dancing down the hall. Tipping can be a great way to show people you are grateful for their service. I still remember the night I gave $10 to a tired young man at a Taco Bell drive-thru. His eyes lit up like fireflies.
We’ve all committed failures of kindness when we are hurt, angry, or tired. But each of us holds within us the power to achieve triumphs of kindness every day.

The post The Greatest Lesson We Learn When Someone Is Unkind appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Texas Representative David Simpson says to vote NO on Prop. 6

Early Voting begins Monday!

Early Voting: Oct.  21st - Nov. 1st


October 14, 2013


(Irving) – Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) expressed his opposition to Proposition 6 at a press conference today because “it would unnecessarily expand state government into investment banking, which is better performed by the private sector in a free market, allocating limited resources based on financial risk and return instead of political considerations.”

Simpson asked, “Do we want the state to fund water infrastructure like we have funded research and commercialization with CPRIT? Do we want state government handing out sweetheart loans based on political connections instead of economic realities? Government's track record on this count is poor at best, as our recent experience with CPRIT has demonstrated once again.”

“The Legislature played an elaborate shell game with the appropriation of funds for this program. The $2 billion appropriation for this program will come from the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), or 'Rainy Day Fund,' if this amendment is approved by the people. However, the ballot language fails to inform the voter they are moving money from the state’s ESF or that the move would exceed the spending cap if the funds were not being constitutionally dedicated,” Simpson further explained.

“The appropriate role of the state is to protect private and regional water rights.”

“Intervention in the market by the state will no doubt favor some at the expense of others, such as East Texans. Because East Texas is blessed with more water resources than other parts of the state, it is likely those resources will be sought after by others and this proposal jeopardizes the ability for East Texas to protect its resources from being taken away by force, without its consent.”

“With their consent in a free market, I believe East Texans would develop infrastructure to collect and distribute water if their rights are protected like their oil and gas resources are currently. The region’s normally abundant water supply could meet the demands for water in other places of the state.”

Representative Simpson, Republican from Longview, serves House District 7, comprised of Gregg and Upshur Counties.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A word for you:

 Pronounced: kon-too-mey-shuhs

 Contumacious is from the  Latin word contumāx (stubborn, obstinate)

Stubbornly perverse or rebellious; willfully and obstinately disobedient.
Or stubbornly resistant to authority; willfully obstinate

"She sat still, looking a little contumacious, and very much indisposed to stir."  
~Charlotte Bronte, Shirley

contrary, pigheaded, factious, refractory,  
headstrong, intractable.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mushrooms for the Freezer

 We like to buy the big package of fresh baby bella mushrooms at Costco, lightly saute them in butter (don't crowd the pan!), and pack them into the freezer for later use....it's very handy and inexpensive that way. 

Note: place a wad of plastic-wrap between the mushrooms & the lid, to protect them from frost.  It's easy to dig out just the right amount...no need to defrost first.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Arugula


Linguine with Asparagus, Bacon, and Arugula
 (found here, on allrecipes.com)

Submitted By: Asiangirl   
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 40 Minutes
Servings: 5-6
"A must try, sauteed asparagus, bacon, and arugula are tossed with hot linguine; a special bright flavor comes from fresh lemon juice. It's simple and tasty!"
1 pound linguine, uncooked
1/3 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and
cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 (5 ounce) package baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towels. Pour olive oil into skillet, and stir in garlic and asparagus. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add pasta to skillet. Turn flame off. Toss with arugula, lemon juice, and bacon.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com
We happened to have an abundance of arugula in the garden and all the other ingredients on hand so went searching and found this recipe to try....it was pretty good and it has potential...each of us thought of ways we could improve this recipe.

I used 8 cloves of garlic instead of 2 and we all thought it could have used even more....red pepper flakes would have been good...we didn't care for the lemon juice and thought that white wine instead would have been better.   There was so much fat that the asparagus and garlic practically boiled instead of sauteed, but it turned out fine, not greasy at all.  In fact we thought there was too much pasta (we used Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti) and maybe 12 -14 oz. would be better.  In that case maybe the oil should be cut a little....it needed salt and pepper and we topped it with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  The arugula came from our garden, not baby leaves, but not too strong - about 4 ounces.  The bacon was ours - homegrown and home cured.  Onions or leeks caramelized with the bacon would have been a good addition as well.  Some small pieces of chicken breast added just before the asparagus and garlic would have been good....we'll certainly try it again and make these changes.  =) 

Couldn't finish it and had no room for the fresh tossed green salad we made...saved the salad for "dessert" later!  We listened to our "Julie & Julia" soundtrack on YouTube (find it here), while we cooked & ate~ that was nice.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup

We roasted the Parsnips the other day, thinking that we would eat them like that...but they  were SO strong- not as sweet and nutty as we hoped, that it was impossible to eat them plain like that.

That meant that the only thing to do would be to save them (in the fridge), until we had time to make tonight's dinner- Parsnip soup (here).

Topped with a pat of Kerry Gold Irish butter!

Things that we did differently were:

1. pre-roasted Parsnips
2. no Carrots
3. only half of the Cardamom, Allspice & Nutmeg and we added curry powder
4. whole milk, no cream 
5. added some more broth because it was soooo thick

It was very rich, heavy and not meant for a main course...we decided when we use the leftovers (we are putting in the freezer) we'll garnish with cheese and maybe bacon and serve over rice.  

Should we ever make this again we would:

1. cut the Cardamom, Allspice & Nutmeg again
2. cut the Ginger
3. use some carrots
4. add more garlic  :-)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

25 pounds of beets...

...go a long way~ click here to find out what we did with them! :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Real Sourdough Bread

I followed this recipe pretty closely....no-knead-sourdough-bread  I've been meaning to, but haven't tried my hand at authentic sourdough bread in several years....

 I love my Dough Whisk from King Arthur Flour (buy them here)!  We used organic, freshly ground Wheat Montana flour.  Next time, I'll try Spelt....

Sticky dough!

I thought that the sourdough used all its oomph and wouldn't rise anymore, so we considered the bread a failure at this point, but we popped them into the oven anyway and said "Why bother about the pan of hot water (for the steam)?" But we should have- they did rise some after going into the oven and the steam would have let them rise even more...oh well!

Check the temperature to see if the bread is done baking...
 I took it out at 190 and rising...I should have made sure that it was 200...

It kept pretty fresh and moist for at least 3 days, considering there is no fat, milk or eggs, not too bad!  

We popped one straight into the freezer (We sure don't need to sit down and eat 2 loves of bread in one week!).  Hubby wasn't sure he liked it, but got used to it....in fact later in the week we ate out and he ordered a burger on sourdough....he said he couldn't even tell that it was sourdough, too wimpy! 

Eaten with plenty of organic butter, and maybe some homemade organic Strawberry Freezer Jam!

Not bad!