blessings

Blowing kisses in May

By golly, I’m going to get my act together. If my resolution in May doesn’t shape me up, it’ll kill me for sure. So, first my confession: I’m a bit of an aggressive driver. Impatient to a fault. Lead-foot. Not a tail-gater, but have been known to talk to the driver in front of me, gesturing with uplifted hands, smacking my head, hoping they are looking in their rear view mirror to register my annoyance, disgust or anger.

Well, this month my goal is to gesture in a completely different way when I’m cut off or delayed by the very cautious motorist in front of me. For May, I will try to blow a kiss to the subject of my irritation and utter this saying “I hope you arrive safely and on time to your destination.” I will attempt to murmur this blessing every time I feel the need to scream silently or when I feel my blood boil in righteous indignation.

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This may be my most difficult change to date. Please send help.

But seriously, if I can accomplish this goal, how much better will the roads be?! If we could all send out blessings instead of curses, the energy around us would completely change to a positive force of synchronized oneness from which all love would abound…yeah, right. Sorry, that’s just silly talk. Life is well, life. It’s messy and dirty and can be negative and ugly. For now, I’ll just be happy to change the 6’x6’ atmosphere inside my ride to a place of peace. Most of my commutes to the kitchen or the big box store are short and SURELY, I can blow kisses and whisper blessings for the 15 minutes I’m in the car each way.  I hope. I’ll try. Pray for me. :)

At the end of this week, we honor our mothers, whether honorary, adoptive, by birth, or by action. I am so blessed by my mom, Sadako, who brought me into the world and continues to be a Godly inspiration of sacrifice and service, and by Jeanette. my mother-in-law, a woman of limitless patience and discretion. I wish I could hug them both on Sunday and tell them in person what they mean to me, but a phone call will have to do. Be sure to tell your mother figures how important they are to you this week and as often as possible.

I have a special menu for those of you who want to make Mom’s day easy and tasty—you can find it here. If you are a mother on my list, know that I admire and respect you in your tireless devotion to your families.

Blessings and car kisses,

Ruth

April's Attitude of Gratitude

If you’ve been following along with the blog, you’ll know I’ve been working on monthly resolutions.

January – Ditch the Grudge

February – Pay it Forward

March – Plant Seeds of Optimism

This month’s theme was inspired by a talk from a young priest last month. He had spent his “spring break” on a mission trip to a third world country. He commented that as is so often on these outreach events, as the “missionary” you gain as much as, if not more than the people you intend to help. He described a young child who would hang around the job site as they built homes for these needy people and when he asked her to show him her toys she proudly brought out her prized doll. When he requested to see her other toys, she looked a little confused and replied, “This is my toy. Isn’t she pretty?” She was so happy with her one plaything, her one possession.

The young priest had an “a-ha” moment…a forehead-slapping humbling insight. We are all so caught up in our phones, iPads, laptops, and other things that we feel we cannot live without each day. We don’t feel grateful for the ease of our lives and the possessions that we take for granted. We forget that our children have never done without or had to worry about a safe roof over their heads or the accessibility of healthcare. Plentiful healthy meals, superior education and culture are a given in our neighborhoods. So his recommendation for the lenten season was to work to be grateful for what we already have rather than to sacrifice or “give up” a favorite food, beverage or activity.

During the month of April I am working to cultivate daily gratitude for my blessings, as well as my normal existence. I will try not to take for granted the things I have, the people in my life and least of all, this great state and country I call home. My goal is to see the beauty of my health, enjoy each new morning as it rises and sigh with a grateful heart at the end of each evening. Won’t you join me in my attitude of gratitude this month?

Other things to be thankful for:  sweet customers who make my work worthwhile, fresh produce in the markets to make delicious salads and soups, and ripe fruit for pie! Have a great week…be sure to check the order site for available items not listed on the posted menu. 

Raspberry Pie

Raspberry Pie

So very thankful for turkey, pie and family

Serious pic

Serious pic

The past two weeks are a blur. I do remember baking a lot of pies. And sides. And buttered rolls. And we entertained a crowd…not unmanageable, but still a crowd.

It was a lovely Thanksgiving at our house, with three of the Butterfield boys and their families gathered to talk food, sports and life. I had a fantastic crew in the kitchen—my daughter, daughter-in-law and a brother-in-law were all huge helps and I could not have managed the meal alone. It was an ambitious menu with so many sides…

2 Roasted Turkeys with Hard Cider Gravy

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with brown sugar crumble

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potato Casserole

Maple Glazed Carrots

Skillet Green Bean Casserole

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cornbread Croutons

Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower Gratin

Traditional Bread Dressing

Mushroom & Parmesan Savory Bread Pudding

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seeds

Cranberry Citrus Relish

Buttered + buttered rolls

Thankfully, the clean-up team did not disappoint either. There were cousins running every which way to clear the table, wash and dry dishes and take out the mounds of recycling. (so many bottles!)

What a blessing to be surrounded by people you love at any time of the year! It was so nice and I hope that each of you had your own version of Thanksgiving joy around the table.

Because Thanksgiving came early this year, I have one last weekly menu before the holiday crush. Once December arrives, my team and I will be madly baking, boxing and mailing gifts across the country for orders. We would love to fulfill your gifting needs as well so be sure to get your orders in as soon as possible. Gifts are online now!

This Saturday, we will have a booth at the Jesuit Christmas Bazaar from 9am – 5pm. Please stop by and say hi! We are working hard to have lots of product to sell on the spot. We’ve come up with some not-to-be-missed specials just for the Bazaar and it’s all live on the ordering site and effective through Saturday only, so check it out here.

Silly pic

Silly pic