Friday, February 22, 2013

You Bliss and a Healthy Mental Status

Sometimes you wake up feeling crappy. No matter how happy your life may be there are just some times that your health lets you down. Having something to focus your energy on may help you get past those days. This morning I awoke with a migraine from hell.  Light, sound and movement hurt. As I stumbled around my home trying to get accomplished the things that could not wait like feeding our animals and walking our dogs I covered my eyes in the darkest glasses I could find, a knit cap pulled down over my ears to deaden the sound and kept having to stop and just breath until the nausea passed.  But my determination to get through it kept me going.  I stopped focusing on the pain and started focusing on what needed to get done today.

Today is my husbands birthday and not a good day for being sick.  Way to many things to get accomplished and way to much counting on my ability to do what needed to be done.  By focusing on those things I was able to beat back the pain and make it more manageable, well that and pain killers via my doctor.  Am not found of prescriptions but am less found of pain.

Today is all about getting all of my work done so I can spend the weekend enjoying and celebrating his birthday.  It is about working towards my goal of having a garden large enough to provide my family with healthy food over the summer and into the winter months.  It is about getting things on my bliss list lined up and baby steps taken towards my long term goals.

They say that happy people are far less likely to suffer as many illnesses as those who are unhappy with the lives they are leading.  But even as someone who enjoys her life even I become sick on occasion.  I live with a constant ongoing battle with sinus infections.  They start above my eyes and spread throughout my face, teeth and even throat and lungs on occasion.  Yesterday I got up feeling a little off, not feeling sick but not quiet feeling well either.  Today I opened my eyes to pain and agony and wishing I could crawl back under the cover and go back to sleep. But life continues on whether you feel like living it or not.  So I pulled myself out of bed, put on my clothes, tried hard to remember that my dogs were waiting patiently to be walked and my darling husband was counting on me to be on my game today because he is pulling mandatory overtime and cannot miss a day of work simply because I am feeling under the weather.

I am finding happiness in the things I can do something about today. Focusing my energy and attention on the important things in life, like my seedlings that are beginning to get their second leaves and the lettuce that I just yesterday got into their summer containers.  Trying to stay in the dark as much as possible and keeping the sound level in my home on a lower level.  I am beginning to feel much better thanks to some home remedies and a very low dosage of pain killers from my doctor, but I feel that by focusing on things that make me happy and bring joy into my world I am able to get past the pain and hopefully get something accomplished with my day.

I know that many feel that following your bliss is a waste of time, that there are not enough hours in their days to get done what they have to in order to survive much less be happy.  I find that if I am not moving towards my long term goals I feel I have wasted a day of my life.  As I battle the constant flow of paperwork for returning to school the beginning of next month for the next stretch of my educational goals, and trying to get our garden in order on a very limited budget.  I am also battling a wave of bad luck on our finances but am still positive in my thoughts because I know that tough times don't last but tough people do.  Knowing that this is just a speed bump in our lives because I have lived long enough to see the big picture and I know in my heart of hearts that these issues will get resolved.

My stove caught fire yesterday, it was already on the list of things that needed to be replaced but that was a wake up call that moved it up on the list of things we needed to invest in.  I would love to go on a romantic weekend with my dear husband for our anniversary in April and I have things I am trying to get accomplished for friends and family that cannot wait until finances improve or I am feeling better.  So I continue on with the battle well fought. I find new ways to trim our budget and stretch our dollar just a little bit further. I get inventive on ways to save money and still follow my bliss with gardening and continue to shop for the lowest price possible for my new camera.

I do not allow my dark moments to interfere with my bliss or my long term goals. Anything worth having is worth working on, and worth waiting until the time is right to accomplish them.  It is a matter of weighing those dark times with the much brighter ones and remembering that this too shall pass.  That although I may have to find the money in our very tight budget for a new stove that once it is replaced I will have something bigger and better for making homemade goodies in and on.  That the one I have had for almost a decade now has served me well and that you get what you pay for (It was purchased as a single mom raised three kids with no help from their sperm donor).  That many happy family meals have been prepared on it and that although I will hate paying to replace it I can take comfort in the knowledge that my daughters learned to cook for their own families on this old electronic friend.  That I have shared breads, and cookies, and canned goods straight from my garden and from my kitchen with those I hold my dear in my heart and in my life.

My kitchen table also died this week. One of the legs were loose and my dogs got to excited about last walk of the day and bumped the leg which ripped it from its precarious position and caused it to come crashing to the floor.  In the process of sorting through all the paperwork and objects that had come to rest upon it, I found many things that I had been searching for but not found in the last couple of weeks.  My kitchen table often becomes the dead zone for things in our house. My gloves and hat were buried at the bottom as well as the books I had purchased for wine and cheese making.  Instead of morning the fact that I am going to have to replace that as well I try hard to remember all the wonderful times my family has spent around that table. The many meals we have shared with family and friends to celebrate both happy times and find solace in the darker times.

The many cups of coffee shared amongst friends talking about the woes and throws of our lives.  The homework done sitting at it with my children and the many family projects completed on its surface.  I would never have considered myself to be an optimist. I like to think of myself as a realist.  Plan for the worst, hope for the best and accept what comes in my life with dignity and respect.  So instead of being bummed out over loosing my antique kitchen table (It was my grandmothers) I have come to the realization that its fragile state is not suitable for our busy household.  That we need to downsize and get something more suited to house filled with laughter and great food.  Something that is both mine and my husbands (the table predates our marriage and relationship).  That the loss of it is just one more thing that will no longer just be mine but the replacement will be ours. A reflection of our taste together as a couple and key component in our lives.

My first batch of beer was ready to drink this week. It didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.  There is a lot of sediment in it and unsuitable for drinking.  But instead of being bummed out about all the time and money invested in that project I simply found another way to utilize it and still found a happy way to enjoy it. I found a super simple recipe for beer bread that turned that nasty tasting beer into something incredible and that is enjoyed by all in our household.  The recipe is simple and will share it in  my blog today as well as pictures of the finished product.

Beer Bread

3 cups plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (Melted)
12 oz beer room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all but butter together in bowl, grease two mini loaf pans with butter, pour batter into the buttered loaf pans.  Melt butter and pour over the top of the batter in the pans.  This recipe makes 2 and they normally come in packages of 5 so you could double the recipe and make some to share as well.  Place pans in pan with sides (The butter may run off as the batter rises).  I let mine sit on the stove as it preheats to help speed up the yeast process.  Cook for one hour, allow to cool then flip out onto wire rack and allow to finish cooling.  Makes a great snack, side dish, you can also reheat slices of the bread using your oven and top with bruscheta or sweet sausage red sauce for a special treat. Did that last night for dinner and served with spaghetti makes an awesome appetizer for an evening of Italian cuisine.  It retains a little of beer taste without the alcohol content which burns off in the heat of the oven.  It has a crusty outer crust and moist dense center.  For bruschetta I slice mine and then reheat and pour fresh chopped tomatoes with herbs and seasonings over the top.

As you can tell cooking is also one of my many blissful activities.  I love finding new recipes and trying out new things and just enjoying life to the fullest regardless of whatever may be going on in my world I always take comfort in good food especially if it is shared with those I love.

I hope that whatever may be going on in your life, no matter how dark your day may be, that you find some comfort in my words today.  That although things may be tough and you may hate the life you are living right this second, you also realize that bad times are not permanent unless you allow them to become that way.  That if you focus on the positives in your life and are constantly moving towards things that make you happy, that you refocus your energy and make your dreams and goals a reality. Nothing is out of your reach if you keep reaching long enough for it.  Sometimes you just have to hear No 100 times before someone will tell you yes.  Never give up and never give in, and fight for what makes you happy.  Take your happy moments where you can find them. Never allow the discouraging words of others or the bad things going on right this second to allow you to give up your own hope or dreams.  Do what makes you happy and the rest will fall into place on its own.

Until next time Blog buddies, be safe, be sane, and be happy.

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