My Survival Kit for Christmas/New Year/anytime!

Sometimes I find life overwhelming. I don’t think I am alone in that experience! Just thought I would put together a list of some easy things to remember when feeling stressed/depressed etc.

  • Remember there are some things in my control and others are not (inspired by the Stoics)
  • Remember that it is not things that upset us but our beliefs/judgements about them (Stoics)
  • Be grateful for life, health and the many good things in my life
  • Be in the moment, as in “when doing the dishes, just do the dishes”
  • I sometimes break the day down to hours or minutes e.g. “for the next hour I will shower and make my bed” I can do more if I want to but the goal is to just get one or two things done. (works for me).
  • I try to remember that others are fighting their own internal battles (we don’t know what it is like to be them) so try to be compassionate and try to see where they are coming from.
  • I find something to do that lightens my mood – I love taking photos of flowers or editing photos so I can set up a small project (go out to the garden and snap away and them come inside and edit the photos) and it can help me lift my mood.
  • Listen to a podcast. I am currently into learning about Stoicism and there are heaps of podcasts and YouTube video to watch or listen to.
  • If every thought in my head is coming out bleak I need to consider it might be my thinking that is out of kilter and not the rest of the universe!
  • Sometimes I write in my journal and maybe do a mind map (in my journal) to get a more objective picture of where my life and thoughts are at the moment. See what I can change and what I can’t.
  • I try to resist making big decisions when stressed. I sometimes want to do something straight away but encourage myself to review the idea at a later date – maybe three months, depending on the issue.
  • If all else fails, I go and have a rest for a while. Often I feel better afterwards!

Day 1 – Creativity Challenge

Click HERE if you would like to join me in the Creativity Challenge!

Today my challenge will be to write a short post about the following topic:

“What is the best lesson you have learned?”

When I was in my early 30’s my marriage broke up and I found myself in a situation where I had few possessions (including money) and three young children to take care of. I was also living in a remote Aboriginal Community in Northern Australia.

The lesson I learned is that I am stronger than I think I am. Sometimes I just pretended that I was strong and often that was enough. I also learnt that I was the only person I could rely on to get through the difficult time.

When I rang my Mum to tell her what happened she said that I shouldn’t even think about coming home. I was quite shocked at the time but now I realise that the path I did choose turned out to have a lot more going for it than if I had returned to my home town in Victoria.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

That was about forty years ago. My sons grew up with me in Western Australia. We did miss (still do) having extended family close by but it forced me to go out and meet people and in many ways enabled me to rebuild my life without the constraints and limitations I would have faced if I had returned ‘home’.

As I get older I see many people on their own – having lost their partners and perhaps their extended families. I do feel passionately that we need to be aware that some people suffer from loneliness and isolation. This is even more so with Christmas approaching. I find Christmas a bit challenging however I try to make the most of it and put in a little effort! I don’t think I am alone in this!

Some more Notable Quotes …

With a Seasonal focus

A Christmas Wish –ย 

May you never forget

What is worth remembering

Or rememberย 

What is best forgotten.

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Eat, drink and be merry

For tomorrow ye diet. Willma Gilmore Beymer

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Here’s wishing you the kind of troubles that last as long as your New Year resolutions!ย 

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In the year ahead, may we treat our friends with kindness and our enemies with generosity.

Quotes are from Notable Quotes, World Book Encyclopedia, Inc.

 

The awkward raw prawn

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I have been known to have some culinary disasters in my time. It seems to happen when I am trying my hardest to put on a good show for my guests. And it usually involves something we didn’t really need on the menu – a last-minute addition.

A week before Christmas we went to the seafood shop down the road to buy some fresh fish for dinner. I noticed they had some frozen, peeled prawns and I thought they could be added to our Christmas lunch.

We had guests at our place on Boxing Day (we went to my son and daughter-in-law’s place on Christmas Day). I pre-cooked the turkey and had a nice piece of ham to go with it.

That morning I got the prawns out of the freezer but hadn’t given much thought as to how I was going to serve them. I decided that a lime and chili dressing would be nice. I made sure the prawns were at the right temperature (not still frozen but safely defrosted).

I mixed the dressing and added it to the prawns and put them in a bowl on the table. I put some on my plate. When I ate one I knew something wasn’t right but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I had a panicky feeling that maybe they were raw!

I decided to confess my fears but my guests assured me they were fine. After dinner I checked online about eating raw prawns – it seemed that I would live to tell the tale!

PS the photo is from a Christmas Dinner a few years ago – those prawns WERE cooked!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you, your friends and family, a happy, healthy, safe and fun Christmas Day.

Thank you for reading my blog throughout the year and I look forward to interacting with you again in 2016.

We are ready and waiting for Santa to arrive – less than three hours to midnight here :-).

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Cath’s Christmas Pudding Recipe

Before my mother-in-law passed away I agreed to continue the family tradition by using her recipe to cook the Christmas puddings she made each year for her two sons. I have all the ingredients ready to make the pudding this weekend.

Here are the ingredients:

8 ounces of flour

8 ounces of suet (I use butter)

8 ounces of dark brown sugar

8 ounces of bread crumbs (white bread).

2 and 1/4 of dried fruit (sultanas, seedless raisins and currants

1 ounce of crushed almonds

Juice of one lemon

I apple

1 carrot

3 large or 4 small eggs

1 heaped tablespoon of thick marmalade

1 heaped tablespoon of mixed spice and a pinch of bicarb soda

Alcohol or milk if necessary (for the cook?)

Directions

Mix all the fruit together and rinse it under running water for a few minutes. Add the grated apple, grated carrot and marmalade. Pour on alcohol of choice (brandy, sherry or fruit juice if preferred) and leave overnight. Then next day cream butter and sugar until soft and fluffy then beat in sugar until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Fold in the fruit mixture and prepared breadcrumbs. Add the crushed almonds. Sift the spice, bicarb soda and flour and fold into the fruit mixture until the right consistency in reached.

Pour the mixture into two prepared pudding bowls and cover them with kitchen paper and tin foil. Place the bowls in large pots of water to steam for about four hours. Remember to keep topping up the water as it evaporates. They can be kept in the fridge once cooked and then reheat for a further two hours on Christmas Day. Serve with custard, cream and/or ice-cream.

Here are my puddings in the bowls and saucepans last Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas Pudding

My mother-in-law taught me how to make Christmas Pudding in the way she prepared and cooked it every year for her husband and two sons. The responsibility was passed to me when she passed away in 2010. Each year I say I am not going to make it but I usually give in to howls of protests.

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The tradition of putting the coins in the puddings comes from my childhood. I have 15 x three-penny coins dating from 1921 to 1955. I also have seven six-penny coins dating from 1910 to 1963. I always clean them in boiling water and bicarb soda before mixing them in the pudding! I usually ask the coins be swapped for some chocolate money so as I can continue the tradition the next Christmas.

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Next the mixture goes in two pudding bowls and sealed with kitchen paper and foil before inserting into two pots of boiling water.

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Then they steam for four hours. I need to keep topping up the water so it does all disappear ๐Ÿ™‚

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