Baking and eating while we are standing and waiting. Can we make someone laugh today?

Can we make someone laugh today? Baking and eating while we are standing and waiting.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

As long as you know how to bake, life is sure to be sweet. Unknown

Everyone seems to be baking up a storm during our stay-in. To join the baking club I made banana bread yesterday. When we cook we take a few ingredients and turn them into something else. It is a form of alchemy, chemistry in action.

When we think of alchemy we may think of wizards brewing up concoctions and isn’t that what baking is? Flour sugar and fat becomes a cake.  Some researchers see alchemy as the forerunner of modern science particularly chemistry.

Trial and error lead us to become good bakers. It helps if we keep good notes on what we liked, what we added the next time, or what we took away.

What a discovery it must have been when bread was first created. It is believed the earliest bread was baked around 8000 B.C. in the Middle East specifically Egypt and would have been a flatbread like chapattis (India) or tortillas (Mexico).

The first leavened bread was made with wild yeast (sourdough) and dates back about 1000 B.C. Louis Pasteur in 1859 discovered how yeast works and nine years later Fleischman’s Yeast was founded and the modern baking era was born. The bread slicer was invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder in 1912 and the first automatically sliced loaves were produced on July 6, 1928.

Many people are learning to make sourdough bread and creating their own sourdough starter or getting it from someone who has some. I’ve never tried to make sourdough bread but the starter sounds pretty easy to make just water and flour left to ferment and then you feed it equal parts water and flour until you are ready to make a batch of bread leaving ¼ cup of the starter for next time.

Cakes are like books, there are new ones you want to read and old ones you want to reread. Ellen Rose

Whatever we bake when we are done we have something to show for our efforts. In a time like this feeding people is something we can do. It feels wholesome, nurturing, and loving to provide food and there is something about the smell of baking that adds something extra to our day. If we want to sell our home we are told to create the smell of baking by boiling cinnamon and sugar or actually baking something to give our home that homey feeling and scent.

Maybe we are soothing our fears in an uncertain time by creating a safe and nourishing home filled with good food. We are once more gathering around the kitchen table drinking coffee, eating bread or cake, talking and laughing.

If we don’t have a house full of people we can put our creation on FaceBook or Zoom and eat our creation with a friend while they eat theirs. We may have to make an effort to connect with people but technology makes it easier. There is always the phone if we can’t get our computer to work with Zoom or other programs.

Reach out and touch someone through technology. We can have a laugh, break some bread and talk about what we’ll do when this is over. We can think about those keeping everything together while we stand and wait. We can offer up prayers for them, give thanks for them, and be grateful for what we have in our lives. When this is over we will all reflect on the part we had to play, and if we did it as well as we could. Will we be proud of ourselves?

Sometimes me thinks “What is a friend?” And then me say, “Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.” The Cookie Monster

Today I will live in the moment unless it’s unpleasant in which case I will eat a cookie. The Cookie Monster

If baking is any labor at all, it’s a labor of love. A love that gets passed from generation to generation. Regina Brett

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Recipes and Wisdom: by Martha Markey by [Martha Markey, Mary Earp]

Recipes and Wisdom: by Martha Markey Kindle Edition

by Martha Markey (Author), Mary Earp (Editor)

The power of focus. We get what we focus on, are we focusing on what we want?

We get what we focus on, are we focusing on what we want? The power of focus.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. Jack Canfield

Yesterday was an all-day Toastmasters event preparing us for contest season and club visits. A lot of work is put into making these events a success. There is a lot of work put into making anything a success.

Sometimes when we need to focus on something, other also important things pop up to demand our attention. Often other opportunities show up that if we take them will derail us from completing what we are committed to finishing.

I am at the point where I have to say no to distractions that sound interesting, and would be a great opportunity or what I am focusing on won’t get completed.

Last night I went down to my art studio instead of editing my novel. I haven’t been down there in quite a while, and my brain couldn’t handle editing after being at a conference all day. Playing with color was a nice outlet.

For this next little while, I’m going to have to guard my time so I don’t commit to things that take the focus off editing. We often fantasize that we would get more done if we could focus only on the one thing we want to do. Then we get that opportunity and other things, fun things, social things, take up that time.

The results of your bad habits usually don’t show up until much later in life. Jack Canfield

A couple of hours a day of focus will get more done than a week of free time with no focus on what we need to do. They often say if you want something done, give it to a busy person. We have to be careful we don’t say yes to do things for other people and not get done what we are doing for ourselves.

Ten tips to help us focus:

Think about what we want “vividly.” We have to name it, to claim it.

Be grateful in advance. By becoming grateful in advance we train ourselves to look for the good in every situation.

Learn to be ruthless with our time. We need to eliminate as much as we can the time spent on tasks that don’t meet our goals (and still live our lives being and doing for those we love).

Create layers of focus. Do the hard stuff and reward ourselves with easy, fun stuff.

Pay attention to how we are eating. We need to be healthy to achieve our goals.

Devise a bedtime routine. We need to get out sleep to be healthy and have the energy to focus on our goals.

Clear our clutter. When we clear the clutter from our homes, offices, we also clear it from our mind and our life and it is easier to focus on what is important.

Reward yourselves. We need to not be a hard taskmaster. Can we enjoy life, enjoy our family, and our friends while we reach our goals? If we give our self a reward when we reach a mini-goal, will this help us stay on track and keep focused on our end goal?

Focus on our spouse if we are lucky enough to have one. Make sure they feel loved, appreciated, respected, and desired. What if we get to our goal but we lose the love of our life in the process? What if we can reach our goals and improve our relationships at the same time?

Focus on our posture. We can focus on our posture when we are standing, pull in our stomach, straighten our shoulders, keep our spine straight, and put a smile on our face.

We will get out of life what we focus on. The choice we get to make is what that focus will be. If we get what we are focusing on will we be happy? Is there something better we should be focusing on?

A goal that is not measured is just wishful thinking. Jack Canfield

Life doesn’t just happen to you. It’s all about choices and how you respond to every situation. Jack Canfield

Expect the unexpected. Focus on what you can control and acknowledge what is out of your control. Jack Canfield

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The Power of Focus: How to Hit Your Business, Personal and Financial Targets with Confidence and Certainty Paperback – Jun 3 2013

by Mark Victor Canfield, Jack,Hansen (Author) 4.2 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

 See all 3 formats and editions

Focus is the key to success. Are we focusing on our own business or someone else’s? Are we working within our circle of influence?

Are we working within our circle of influence? Are we focusing on our own business or someone else's? Focus is the key to success.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Always remember your focus determines your reality. George Lucas

Last night I watched Sixty Minutes and they talked about gene-splicing therapy for Sickle Cell Anemia using the HIV virus as the carrier for the gene splice. The young woman they were profiling had perfect shaped blood cells after a few months. She could do things she could never do. For all intents and purposes, she looked healed.

The Doctors who figured this out were focused. If we are to achieve anything in life we must focus. One of the reasons life is better for us is because so many have focused on improvements for society. Many of the people, who improved things, improved them for someone else. The Doctors who came up with the cure for Sickle Cell Anemia didn’t have it in their families, but it seemed to them a disease caused by one wrong letter in the genome could be edited and the problem solved.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw

Where will this take us? What other diseases will they be able to cure? Will the cure be passed down genetically?

We don’t know what we don’t know. We have people working diligently focusing on the problems in our world. There may be unintended consequences of some of our fixes. We may think we’ve found answers when we haven’t. We may think we know things we don’t know.

As a species, we have always moved forward. We have asked questions and we have found answers. We have faced challenges we have overcome. For every action, there is a reaction. We have to deal with cause and effect.

When we focus on what is ours to focus on and let other people focus on what is theirs to focus on we both get our stuff accomplished.

Are we focusing on what we are to do, or are we worried about what someone else is to do? Are we focusing on what is ours to control, or what we know someone else should do? Are we working within our circle of influence?

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. Tommy Lasorda

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction. George Lorimer

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Revised and Updated: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Paperback – Special Edition, Apr 21 2020

by Stephen R. Covey (Author), Sean Covey (Author), Jim Collins (Foreword) 

 See all 3 formats and editions

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Focus on the Positive - Clematis and hydrangeas photo

Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. Anthony Robbins

Focus on what you want. I had an epiphany yesterday. What I didn’t want is what I got, but it was what I focused on. I didn’t want to be the__________________________at.

Many of us can fill in that line. We are blindsided by the fact that exactly what we didn’t want is what happened. How did this happen we ask our self?

Authors have written books on the power of thought. Focus on what you want, your thinking makes it so. The Bible tells us we reap what we sow. Ask and it shall be given.

Yet we live our lives focused on what we don’t want. We don’t want to be fat, lonely, drunk, a drug addict, depressed, unhappy, mean, sick, disabled, divorced, poor, in debt, friendless.

I picked out three books this morning when I thought about what to write about. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson, and Learned Optimism by Martin E.P. Seligman. I could have pulled more.

All this information and I still focused on what I did not want. I got what I did not want. Now I have to deal with what I did not want.  This happens to many of us over and over in our lives. It has happened to me before. I just never had it hit me so I actually recognized the connection so profoundly.

Perhaps we have to make a connection before we can change. We have more control of our lives than we think. I was in complete control of the situation I unknowingly engineered by little behaviors that led to exactly what I didn’t want.

You never really lose your motivation and drive, you just lose focus of what you truly want! Joe Duncan

I play it over in my head and I see how one small thing led to the next thing. They are all small, inconsequential things on their own, but small inconsequential, inconsiderate, selfish things lead to hurt feelings, misunderstanding and pain.

It can happen when we want to host the perfect birthday party with everyone and we want to make sure we don’t bring up the subject that tears the family apart. For sure that subject will come up. We tell ourselves we won’t drink too much tonight. In the morning we often have to face the fact we let ourselves and others down, again.

I think dieting doesn’t work for a lot of people because they focus on what they can’t have, what they can’t do. If we find a way to embrace a healthy lifestyle instead of focusing on what we don’t want it makes all the difference.

I hardly drink alcohol. The one time I thought too much alcohol might be a problem, it became one, because that was my focus. I could have and should have put my focus on what I wanted. We would go back and change things if we could, but we never can. We have to have the forethought in advance to think about what we want and focus on it.

I remember long ago my sister and I drove home for Christmas. My sister said to me, don’t spoil Christmas, don’t tell them until after Christmas. As soon as we walked in the house the question she didn’t want answered that she thought would ruin Christmas came up. I answered the question, it didn’t ruin Christmas. Actually it was the best outcome, the situation was out in the open, I could relax and enjoy Christmas.

It’s sometimes hard to figure out how to frame what we want so it isn’t what we don’t want. The reason for this is we don’t care what else happens we just don’t want that one thing to happen. We don’t want Uncle Bob to ruin the wedding by getting drunk and fighting with someone. We don’t want the siblings who can hardly be in a room together to get into a fight. Please don’t let them mention… The one conversation we don’t want brought up always seems to come up.

We look at our life and there are so many things we don’t want. The list of what we don’t want is often longer than what we do want. How do we frame all of that into a positive list that if our life delivers what we ask for, we are happy?

Please don’t let Uncle Bob get drunk and ruin the wedding. It could become let Uncle Bob and all the guests and family enjoy the wedding and have a good time.

Please don’t have the siblings get into a fight. It could become let the siblings and all the family and guests have a good time, laughing and joking.

Please don’t have _____ come up in conversation. It could become let’s have a fun evening talking about non controversial subjects.

Please don’t let me have cancer becomes let me be healthy.

It takes some thinking to always focus on what we want. I have to work on this. Often everyone’s intentions are good, but because we focus on not getting the outcome we don’t want, we bring it into reality. Focusing on the negative gets you the negative, and focusing on the positive gets you the positive. We need to really think about what we want and are we framing it in the negative or the positive? Too often we focus on what we fear.

What consumes your mind controls your life. Unknown

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