Saturday 23 October 2010

Choices . . . Choices . . .

“The greatest gift that God in His bounty made in creation, and the most conformable to His goodness, and that which He prizes the most, was the freedom of the will, with which the creatures with intelligence, they all and they alone, were and are endowed.” ~Dante Alighieri , The Divine Comedy, “Paradiso”, vs. 19

Life is full of choices. Sometimes we make good ones and sometimes we make bad ones . . . but there are always ones to make and they are always our own to make.

When we make good and wise choices, the end result is usually a positive one, for all actions have consequences. When we make bad choices, then usually we reap negative benefits, and sometimes very long reaching consequences. Often . . . we get in the way of other people’s poor choices, which is unfortunate. Such as times when someone decides to squeeze their car into a too small parking space next to our car and just happens to scrape the side of our car on their way in, and then again on their way out . . . and then . . . when they see what they have done, they go to find another place to hide their mistake, or just leave altogether. (this has happened to us twice now, very frustrating) Not fair, I know, but it’s unfortunately the price we pay for having free will, and the freedom to choose for ourselves.

I reckon it’s a beautiful gift from God . . . this right to choose . . . and it’s not something I would relish living without.

When I wake up in the morning I can choose to get up right away or to languish under the covers and doze for a bit longer. Being the early bird that I am, I always choose to get up right away. There’s so much of the day ahead to explore and experience, and I don’t want to miss a minute of it! That means that by the end of the day my energy is definitely flagging and I fall asleep in front of the telly more often than not, but, my oh my, I’ve usually had a full and rewarding day up to that point.

When I go to do something, either for myself or for others . . . I can choose to do the very best that I know how to do . . . or I can be lazy and only do a half job of it. Experience has shown me that any job worth doing, is worth doing to the best of my ability, for anything less than my best has consequences that I am just not willing to live with , and usually just creates more work for me in the long run anyways.

I can choose to look at the glass as half empty . . . or as half full. I choose to always look at it as being half full. That way I don’t miss out on any of the blessings and un-expected pleasures along the way. Being positive has never cost me anything, but it surely has given me a great many benefits and rewards in return.

I can choose to put only good things into my body, such as healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grain breads and cereals, or . . . I can fill it up with junk food and empty calories. We all know that the first choice is the better choice, for how many of us are having to now reap the benefits of having made the wrong choice and are now struggling to take off all those extra pounds, or suffering the consequences of poor choices such as ill health, high blood pressure, etc. Experience once again has taught me that that extra piece of pie, or packet of crisps is not really worth the price I will have to pay in the long run for the short term pleasure I get.

Today I can choose to be happy, or I can choose to be sad. For me . . . I choose to be happy. Into each life, rain does and must fall. I am no different than anyone else. I have my own fair share of disappointments and heart aches. Life has it’s ups and downs. Despair and sadness touches each one of us at one time or another. The difference is all in how we choose to handle it. We can give in to it . . . and let it conquer us, or . . . we can choose to rise above it and come out the victor in the end. The choice is ours to make.

Each cloud does have a silver lining and we can find it, if we only look. There will be some lesson learned, some hidden blessing discovered. Sometimes God’s greatest answers come in what we see as unanswered prayers, and sometimes we learn more from losing than we ever would have from winning.

I made Todd a lovely fish pie for his dinner last night. It’s a dish he surely loves and I am quite fond of it myself. Even Mitzie was excited because she could smell it. We did give her a small taste of the fish . . . I know . . . we're so bad. I don't think it hurts to give her a small treat once in a while though, do you?

*Fish and Potato Pie*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a wonderful and homey supper dish. Lovely tender pieces of fish in a deliciously rich sauce, topped with savoury potatoes and cheese. What’s not to like about this!

12 ounces of haddock fillets (un-dyed and smoked can be used if you want)
(3/4 pound)
12 ounces cod fillets (3/4 pound)
12 ounces of salmon fillets (3/4 pound)
1 pint milk (2 cups)
4 fl ounces of brandy (or chicken or vegetable stock, which is what I use) (1/2 cup)
2 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
5 TBS butter, plus extra for greasing
3 TBS plain flour
1 TBS chopped fresh parsley
2 small onions, 1 grated and 1 sliced thinly
1 bag of baby spinach leaves
3 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Rinse all the fish, then pat it dry with some kitchen paper towelling. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and add the haddock and cod, and cook gently for about ten minutes. Lift out the fish, reserving the milk, and set the fish aside to cool. Cook the salmon in the brandy or stock over low heat for ten minutes. Lift out and set aside to cook. Reserving the cooking liquid from that as well. Cut all the fish into small chunks.

Cook the potatoes in a large pan of lightly salted water for about fifteen minutes or until tender.

While you are doing that, in a small saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Stir in the reserved milk and brandy (stock) to make a smooth sauce. Bring to the boil, whilst stirring, and then reduce the heat and let simmer for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and then add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the potatoes and then mash, adding the grated onion and seasoning to taste with some salt and pepper.

Grease a large baking dish. Place the pieces of fish in the bottom of the dish. Top with the sliced onion. Pour over the sauce to cover and then add an even layer of spinach. Top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top to cover. Bake in the heated oven for 39 to 49 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the potatoes are lightly browned. Serve hot with some steamed vegetables on the side.

Appearing in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Pear and Almond Tart!


  1. I too choose to be happy it is not worth being sad or mad...I loved this post full of your wise thoughts from the heart. It is so true... I am trying hearder every day to make better choices and live happy...Hugs to you and your sweet Todd ...Have a lovely weekend.Mica

  2. I love that you are making choices and making them so positively.

  3. Thank you for your post! I am choosing "Happy", too. I am at a time of transition in my life with aging parents requiring more of my time and a little one that is at a critical time of learning in his homeschooling and a little business that needs to get "busier". It would be easy to let it all overwhelm me and get me down, but I am choosing to NOT let that happen! Your post was a very encouraging voice this morning! Happy ((HUGS)) to you!

  4. Yes, choices, our greatest gift from our Heavenly Father and from Jesus Christ. Agency and choice is our greatest gift next to life itself!

  5. Choice is, indeed, a God-given privilege which we should be proud to own. There are so many - too many - places on earth where 'choice' doesn't come into it.

  6. as always you inspire me...I can always count on you for wisdom..:-)

  7. i have to admit that i totally scraped a car in a parking lot a couple of months ago(i blame this lack in judgement on pregnancy! i don't know what i was thinking when i tried to squeeze in there!) HOWEVER, i left a note and my insurance paid for their damage(and i'm now paying by a raise in my rate-arggg). so i made a good choice(though it was hard to do!) most of the time making good choices are hard, the bad choices are the easy way out(which don't end up being easy in the end...)


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