Encouraging people to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.
Making a Happiness Casserole

This time of year, I indulge myself- preparing and sharing recipes with family and friends.  I enjoy preparing the old favorites and trying out some interesting new holiday recipes.  I love to cook- anticipating yummy new treats.  
Today, I’d like to share a recipe for a “Happiness Casserole. “  You start with your own personal casserole dish.

Begin by calmly stirring “NOWNESS” into your container.  Nowness serves as a binder, keeping you in the present moment as you examine the familiar old staples in your recipe.  Focusing on the NOWNESS, examine – without judgement –the bitter and the sweet:   the bits and pieces of times gone by, elements that brought you joy or sadness in the past, components that you may find especially pleasing - like personal accomplishments or delicious times with kids or friends.  

With the help of NOWNESS, continue to sample your dish.   Feel free to remove any ingredients or elements that seem tasteless or sour.  Once upon a time. they may have brought giggles and enrichment.  Do they still add to the mix?  Or have they grown stale - just basic life support, but nothing really too interesting.  Take note of the satisfying flavors:  ingredients that are tried and true.   Leave them in the dish.

When you see your happiness casserole contains enough NOWNESS, it is time to add some NEWNESS.  
Add NEWNESS in gradually, stirring often and tasting to see how everything is coming along.  Perhaps you will be surprised to find that NEWNESS isn’t just one ingredient.  Maybe it will be a compound:    some elements may be rather spicy, while others are sweet.  What’s important is that these new elements are enhancing your daily diet – things you’ve not realized you’re missing in your busy routine.  Your standard recipe has been life sustaining – but maybe it has become a bit dull. 

The best part of NEWNESS is that you can sprinkle some in, sample it, and if it doesn’t taste just right for you, you can try another dash of NEWNESS – and repeat the process.

Your casserole dish should be almost full now.  And a marvelous thing begins to happen.  Your basic staples from the past – the tried and true ingredients - combine with NEWNESS and peaks of ANTICIPATION are forming – resembling really well whipped egg whites!  The ANTICIPATION is amazing to behold.  
It looks so lovely that you make a note to keep your pantry stocked with essential ingredients and to select new ingredients from time to time. Starting with NOWNESS and adding NEWNESS makes your diet both nourishing and delightful!  
Writing, like recipes, evolves over time. While working on this newsletter, I commented to Kendra that her writing rises like yeast and matures overtime. Recipes evolve, sometimes it depends on the ingredients you have on hand or by whose hands it is made. Family Recipes get altered by different cooks. My Grandmother baked her soda bread very differently from how her mother in Ireland made hers. My grandmother baked a sweeter bread for her American grandchildren.  Her recipe has evolved further over time as my siblings and I have baked our Irish soda breads. I like to add cinnamon to mine and her great grandchildren have altered the recipe further. Just like my grandmother and her sisters had variations on their mother’s soda bread we all have variations on ours.  

It is exciting to see Kendra's newsletter rise and evolve over the months of writing it and continue to mature when you, the readers, add to the recipe.

Thanks for sharing you thoughts and links- your comments add more flavor and dimension to the original ingredients and help the ideas rise.

Continuing the conversation..... 

Trudy shared a link:

How to keep going. by Adam J. Kurtz
"Life moves forward whether you’re ready or not, so it’s our job to keep moving too. It won’t happen overnight, but change will come. Here’s my best advice on how to keep going so you’ll still be here when it does."  

Pam commented on the Facebook post: We Gather Together in Gratitude
"This is so true. I would add put a smile on your gratitude…it not only helps you it is also contagious."

Agreed- an attitude of gratitude and a smile will help during the stress of the holidays.
Join the conversation….

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I'm pleased to announce that my hypertufa pots can be viewed and purchased locally at Custom Landscape and Nursery.  The owner, Steve, likes my hypertufa pots and I've found him to be very easy to work with.  His superb landscaping talents are evident as I walk around the properties near his nursery. 

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