Friday, 19 November 2010
Keep the doorway of your heart open . . .
Keep the doorway of your heart open
to the passer-by.
Many folks are on the road,
Trudging 'neath a starless sky,
Hungry for a bit of love,
a friendly helping hand . . .
looking our for someone,
who will comfort, cheer and understand.
Keep the door unlatched,
Who knows? . . .
One may come some day and bring . . .
some new joy into your life,
some unlooked-for lovely thing . . .
Do not bolt and bar the door
on the world that waits outside.
An angel in disguise may come,
may knock and enter and abide.
If I had the chance to live my life again, there are lots of things I would do differently . . . things like talking less and listening more . . .
Not waiting until everything was perfect in my house before I invited people over, or until I had all the right groceries in to feed them . . . I'd just invite them over, warts and all and feed them what I had . . . what's in the pot is not as important as what's in the heart.
I'd have let my kids eat popcorn in the good livingroom and happily listened to their giggles and laughs as they threw it at each other . . . after all . . . it only takes a few minutes to hoover, and those precious moments are gone forever in an instant . . .
I'd have spent more time sitting in the kitchen and listening to my mother and her old Aunts talking and less time out in the meadow with the old horse . . . their stories about family and past events were a treasure I now have missed out on . . .
I'd have burned all the candles, eaten all the chocolates, used all the writing paper, worn all the pretty underwear and used all the hankies that I have kept stored because they were too pretty or too precious to use . . . now they are all blah, melted and old and yukky with age and of no use to anyone . . . sad, but true . . .
I'd have rolled in the grass with my children, and taken more of those precious moments which are treasures, never to be found again . . . they grow up too fast, and time and distance are not always kind guardians . . . before you know it, it's too late and those moments are gone forever.
I'd have spent far less time sitting in front of the telly watching other people live their lives and more time living my own . . .
I'd have cherished every moment of being pregnant . . . the wonder of those special lives growing inside me . . . I'd have enjoyed them in huge gulps and mouthfuls instead of in little bites . . . I'd have taken pictures of my tummy as it grew . . . and recorded all my special feelings in a journal so that I could share it with my babies when they had grown and flown the nest . . . once again, it happens far too quickly . . . and becomes too late before you know it.
I'd have savoured every moment of the years with my children as they were growing up, and held them a little bit closer and that little bit longer, cherished each moment those little arms snaked their way around my neck and pulled me close a lot more than I did . . .
I do so love my children . . . all of them . . . with all of my heart. I may not have been the perfect mother . . . who is. I am sure I made mistakes. I know I made mistakes . . . Who doesn't. I tried my best, and did only what I knew how to do. If I could go back and do it all over, do things differently, I would . . . who wouldn't. But I can't and so, I have to live with what I have left.
I took down a lot of pictures yesterday . . . I've always kept lots of pictures of my babies on the walls and stuff . . . they helped me to feel closer to them, especially where I live so far away. I realized though that, all too often now, they just remind me of my loss, and only make me feel bad . . . so I've put them away in a drawer and replaced them with pictures of the Saviour. Perhaps one day I'll be able to bring them out again, but for now, this is what is best for me. I have to stop beating myself with that guilty stick and hold on to what is good in my life, to dwell on my blessings instead of my losses.
I have much to be thankful for. A loving husband that I waited a whole lifetime to find. A beautiful little pup who adores my every step. Good and loving friends . . . both real and invisible. My mom, dad, sister and brother and their families . . . my eldest two sons, their wives and their children, my eldest daughter . . . the Gospel in my life and my church family, and most importantly of all, a loving Heavenly Father and Saviour . . . who have walked this way before and who know all that I feel and who know I only did the best that I knew how to do . . . and who love me totally and completely despite my shortcomings and failings . . . what more could anyone ask for!
The new stove will arrive sometime today. I am quite excited about that. We had our good friend Dennis over here yesterday making the final preparations on our countertops etc. in preparation for it's. I was unable to cook us dinner so we went to the new Indian place down at the Parade and picked up a curry for our tea, (which is a story in and of itself!) so this recipe today is from my archives. I hope you don't mind! This is an absolutely delicious version of macaroni and cheese, and a once in a blue moon treat.
*Peppy Mac & Cheese*
This deliciously spicy version of macaroni and cheese is to die for. Rather high in calories, but well worth it . . . a treat once in awhile never hurt anyone! A nice tossed salad is a good go with. It will also help ease your conscience!
200 grams of dry Festine pasta (or similar type)
3 TBS unsalted butter
1 clove garlic,peeled and minced
3 TBS plain flour
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups double cream
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
4 ounces strong cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
200g stick of pepperoni sausage, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup fresh bread crumbs (use a good Italian loaf)
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for the allotted time on the package until al dente. (You want it slightly underdone) Drain well, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Don’t let it brown as it will turn bitter. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Stir together the milk and cream and then add to the butter/flour mixture, slowly, stirring to combine. Whisk and cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C.375*F/ gas mark 5. Combine the Cheddar, Mozzarella and ¼ cup parmesan cheese, tossing to combine.
Lightly grease a baking dish. Spoon some sauce in the bottom of the dish. Top with a single layer of the noodles. Spoon on some more sauce to cover. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the pepperoni. Repeat laying with the remaining ingredients for 2 more layers. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Wonderful!!!! If you are not fond of the spiciness of pepperoni you may use ham instead.
In The English Kitchen today, a delicious Barley and Mushroom Casserole.