There are two types of Pumpkin Lovers – Savory or Sweet. Savory folks love the pumpkin in its natural state: pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, and roast pumpkin. Sweet folks are obsessed with sugar and spice: pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I have a foot in both camps though I don’t enjoy super sweet food.
You’ll find a can or two of “Pure Pumpkin” (just the pumpkin, ma’am. Not the pie filling) in my pantry all year round. Considering my love of this versatile and healthy food, I find it odd how much I hate pumpkin pie. Yep. My least favorite Thanksgiving fare.
A Happy Holiday Accident
I decided to forgo my usual sugar-free Pumpkin Custard dish and make pumpkin pie instead for Thanksgiving this year. Why? Maybe it was sentiment for a childhood tradition? I don’t know. Turkey Day Eve I took out the ingredients. Our family recipe and the instructions on the can of pumpkin called for evaporated milk and lots of sugar. I realized I’d purchased sweetened condensed milk instead. Opps! Not really invested in the outcome, I found a pie recipe using sweetened condensed milk. The ingredients are simple: pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice, and a pinch of salt. No extra sugar.
What a difference! The pie was delicious. I believe it is my new favorite pumpkin dish. I’m delighted by this happy accident.
Are You Open to Happy Accidents?
What about you? Has a habit or belief you’ve held for years been suddenly challenged? Rather than struggling to revert back to old patterns, try embracing new things. Be open to them. Meditate on their nature and how it can impact your life for the good and bad. Make a mindful decision before acting.
Then think about this. A mud or dirt patch can be the perfect place for a garden. What flowers will you plant? Think of the hardy prairie flowers like the sunflower and the coneflower. They grow in the toughest terrain and keep coming back year after year even more beautiful than before. Then there is the Marigold. Its vibrant beauty may only last for a season, but everything has its time.
The Fabulous Mr. Pooh wishes you a day full of fun and joyful energy!
I first met the Fabulous Mr. Pooh when my sister rescued him from a bad home in Wyoming. I’d lost my best furry friend, Buddy, a few months before and was open to “meeting” a new dog. She assured me Marley (aka Mr. Pooh) was the same size as the 50-pound fur baby I’d lived with for over ten years.
They pulled into the driveway and I saw Pooh jump out of her vehicle. My first thought was “Wow. He’s big.” The Fabulous Mr. Pooh is a black Labrador and Great Dane mix. Our vet guesses a bit of Chesapeake Bay Retriever might be in there somewhere too. He is one hundred pounds of cuddly fun.
Pooh knew he was home the minute he walked into the door and jumped up on my (now his) puffy chair with ottoman. You guessed it. He takes up the entire space. My new gigantic furry baby rolled onto his back and stuck all four legs in the air. He wiggled when I rubbed his tummy, reminding me of Winnie the Pooh. That was it. Pooh adopted me right then and there.
I can be an overly serious person sometimes and I tend to live in my head too much. Mr. Pooh’s gift of being a good time wherever he has changed my life. Here are some tips I’ve learned from the Fabulous Mr. Pooh to shake off the blues:
Have Fun No Matter What You’re Doing – Whether it’s a short walk around the block or a trip to the mountains, Pooh shows the same level of High Octane enthusiasm
Silliness Is A State of Mind. Be Silly as Much as You Can – Stick your head out the window and let that tongue hang out. Splash in those puddles with all your heart. The worry and years of struggle will melt away
There Is Always Time to Chase Bunnies (even though we all know you can’t catch them) – Having fun is never a waste of time.
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I believe the struggle between Positive and Negative is a war. Imagine two kingdoms fighting for control in the battlefield of human consciousness. One side wants to lift humanity higher and encourages us to follow our own dreams. It values freedom of thought, kindness, and creativity. The other side wants to control through fear, depression, and hatred. I don’t know why. I suspect there is a larger agenda hidden from us.
Negativity has powerful weapons. Fear-mongering can be a blunt instrument that smashes common sense. It can also use gossip to subtly undermine. Both tactics are part of Negativity’s Deception arsenal. Lies cause mistrust. Mistrust causes resentment and hatred. If you don’t trust anyone, you will become isolated and depressed. The energy to fight negativity is lost to you.
Positivity may seem to be losing the war right now, but our side has powerful weapons too.
Acts of Kindness outweigh violence
Truth spoken with Love cancels out lies and ignorance
Knowledge smashes the barbs of fear and misdirection
And the most powerful weapon of all? We have each other! Be an encourager. Lift someone else up!
No matter how horrible things get or how upset I feel, I refuse to feed the enemy’s forces. What about you? How will you stand in the face of Negativity?
It’s a foggy dismal morning. My Labrador Retriever, Mr. Pooh, doesn’t seem to mind. The new spring bunnies are hopping around the wet grass. He loves pretending to chase them. Pooh runs a few yards and then goes on point. We both understand it’s just a game and no fuzzy critters will get hurt. Bunnies are a great source of doggy entertainment on a Spring morning.
Giraffe – Unknown artist Aurora, CO
I tug at my coat collar and watch him sniff about as we walk. The coffee isn’t kicking in yet. I long for the sunshine and warmer weather. This damp gloom is souring my mood.
Penguin – Unknown artist Aurora, CO
Then I see it. Some talented soul has painted art on a little hope rock and left it to cheer their neighbors. One…Two…Three little gifts of beauty. I take pictures to share with you. And I wonder if I’ve missed other signs of Love, Hope, and Joy when I was stuck in my own gloomy thoughts.
Gnome – Unknown artist Aurora, CO
How about you? Are you seeking out little signs of beauty and joy?
Colorado has seen its fair share of destructive hail storms this summer. My vegetable garden was decimated during a particularly nasty one in which we had several minutes of white hell fire. In some parts of our state, it broke windows, smashed big dings in cars and even killed two animals at a local zoo. Nature can be destructive, but she can also be resilient.
Back to my veggie garden: My poor cucumber plant was stripped of its leaves and flowers. I cut it back to a stub, leaving a few undamaged leaves. Saying a prayer to the cucumber plant gods, I gave it up to Nature. A month has passed. Not only has the plant grown double its pre-storm size, I’m harvesting cucumbers.
What’s the take away (besides delicious veggies of course)? We can model Nature’s resilience in our own lives. Cut away the parts or people who no longer promote growth in your life. Find a new place or situation that encourages positive growth. Then watch yourself bloom!
I celebrate this awesome holiday every year. In 2017, I spent the evening sipping Tequila Blanco on my back patio in the shade. This year, I went for marqaritas at a Latin/South American Cantina. Why do I get so excited about this holiday? First: I enjoy a good tequila with a slice of lime.Second: Any excuse to eat Mexican/Cuban/South American cuisine is a good excuse. Third: Celebrating the little things is critical to our happiness.
Why not act a little silly? Make a special meal just because its Tuesday. Go out with your friends on a Sunday just because you can. Live your life with the intent to find joy.