Mounds of Gratitude…

Gratitude 1.1.14At the end of last year, I saw a post from my friend Jan Norris about her “Gratitude Jar.”  When I read the post I was moved by the unique simplicity of concentrating on the good and making those special memories the focus of my day.

While we all deal with crap on a daily basis, we often overlook the blessings.  After reading the post, I started my own Gratitude Jar tradition.

All year the nondescript jar has sat in the middle of my table.  As the seasons changed,  colorful slips of paper have created a tapestry of wonderful memories contained within the glass.

Today, to begin a new year, in anticipation, I sat and opened each slip of paper.

I read the papers, I reflected and my heart filled with joy.  2013, while it had its junk, was a pretty awesome year filled with simple blessings and memories that I will hold tight forever.

I placed that mound of memories in an envelope and sealed it, placing it in my treasure box.  Someday I may relive those memories again, or the envelope may never be reopened; but the wonder of 2013 will be contained there forever.

Today, with my jar empty, I began to refill with 2014 gratitude.  It’s going to be a wonderful year, there will be challenges, disappointments and crap….  but I know if I let it happen there will be more Gratitude than anything else.

Happy 2014!

What’s Cooking – Banana Nut Bread

Sometimes I think I buy bananas without ever intending to eat them.  I think I buy them to fool myself into “having” to make banana bread.

Today, three too ripe bananas and only one thing to do with them…..  banana bread!

A very simple dessert/bread/just good eating; easy to bake simple recipe for banana bread is what I normally us, like this .

Today, I went scrounging through an old cookbook of my mama’s with more steps, a longer baking time, but a finished product just as good as my quick and easy recipe.

From the Clayton Baptist Church Cookbook compiled by The Cookbook Team of the Clayton Baptist Church, circa 1997……

999639_10202621382400056_1074251176_nBANANA BREAD as presented by Susan Thompson

1/2 c oil

1 c sugar

2 eggs

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp. soda

1/2 c. pecans, chopped

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour

Beat oil and sugar together.  Add eggs and banana pulp and beat well.  Add dry ingredients, which have been sifted together, alternately with milk and vanilla.  (This is where my patience ended, no sifting, no alternating, I just added.)  Stir in nuts.  Pour into greased load pan.  Bake at 300 for 1 hour.

EAT!

This cookbook is a family treasure.  I have mama’s copy and it has handwritten notes and additional recipes tucked between the pages.  In this edition of the recipe book, mama has several recipes…..

Pepper Relish, Red Tomato Relish, Joyce’s Salad (I have no idea!), Diabetic Cake, Ma-Ma‘s Sugar Cookies, Baked Custard, Japanese Fruit Pie and Christmas Scent (yes, there are recipes that are non-edible here too!)

Mama added one of my grandmother ma-ma’s recipes too….  Poppy Seed Chicken.

This is a great cookbook, like the ones you can find in most southern communities.

I love this 1997 edition with all 411 pages, thumbing through  it is filled with memories of people who helped shape my life in a small town Baptist Church.

Many of the names found associated with the recipes have gone on now, but their memories and recipes live on.

Short Notes – 7.5.13

Bob Woodruff Friday’s Hero

On the Playlist… Californication  by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Words to Live By

1044015_10201634630691880_454423435_n

Fourth of July Fireworks over the North Palm Beach Country Club – 7.4.13

Life’s Plalylist… Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

MTV Australia Video Music Awards 2007

Life’s Plalylist… Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Short Notes…. Gratitude 1/3 In

Back on January 7th, I introduced you to my Gratitude Jar. here

I copied the idea from my friend Jan Norris at www.JanNorris.com.

As today wraps up the first 1/3 of the year, I thought it was important to go back and see how much gratitude I have found…..

Gratitude Jar 4.30

I have to be honest, just having the jar in the center of my table makes me cognizant for gratitude each day.  Some days I may put 3 slips in, others days I may not put anything, but at least it keeps me thinking and trying to live in gratitude.