Gratitude with Latitude

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted that one thing for Christmas but didn’t get it? You probably were really bummed and missed out on the joy from the great gifts that you actually received.

How sad for us that we probably can’t remember all the things we wanted in the first place.  Funnier yet is the fact that the people who loved us, knew us better than to give us things that would be to our detriment in the first place!  “You might shoot your eye out!”

In reflection, I was wondering if we appreciated all the time and effort that went into the selection of those gifts.  Did I even say “Thank you?”

This Christmas, don’t miss out on God’s blessings all around you because you are too fixated on what you don’t have. Remember it started with a family far from their home, in a stable without many comforts, but we were given the ultimate gift of Life. Jesus.

And don’t forget to say Thank you to Jesus.

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I carry your heart with me

I don’t want to seem be ungrateful for those who are nearby and make my life rich in so many ways that I don’t know how I would get through my days. But sometimes it is so hard to be separated from those who I love so dearly.

While watch the movie “In Her Shoes”, the character Maggie (played by Cameron Diaz) quotes part of the following poem by E E Cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

—Edward Estlin Cummings

So, I think this too shall be my mantra. When I am down and feeling lonely, I will remember “i carry your heart in my heart.”

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The Choice is up to You

This is looks like a good kit and reasonably priced!

The great news is that you can do this yourself with a Vanilla Bean and a bottle of Brandy (yes you can use vodka but I like the caramel coloring and added flavor of Brandy).  Fortunately I have a local store that sells wonderful vanilla beans and any Home Goods or craft store will have a decorative bottle, but any long neck glass bottle will work!

I score the vanilla bean and put it in the bottle then fill with brandy.  I use 2 or 3 vanilla beans for a larger bottle.   I then let it sit for at least 6 weeks to 2 months.

I use it for cooking and baking but I have a friend who even uses it when they make home made ice cream!  The longer it sits…the stronger the vanilla flavor.  After using some of the vanilla be sure to fill the bottle up with more Brandy.  You don’t have to wait another 6 weeks just continue to use and let the vanilla bean do it’s job.

The best part…it’s a fraction of the cost of natural vanilla in the grocery store and is sooooo much more flavorable!

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