#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 21 – What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again?

calamari

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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In the late 80s, there was a bevy of trendy foods everyone in California simply had to order during a night out.

One of those was fried calamari (squid).

I grew up in Michigan, which is surrounded by five lakes and filled with ponds and streams. I’ve eaten more than my share of bass, bluegill, and trout, but calamari is not something you saw often in the average restaurant.

I’d also seen 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and knew what the Kraken was.

However, when friends ordered fried calamari before dinner one evening, I was game. I’ll try anything once.

And once was all it took.

Everyone was dipping their rings in sauce and ooo’ing and ah’ing. Even Den enjoyed it.

I took my turn, grabbed a ring, dipped it in sauce and popped it on my mouth.

I have to say the sauce was amazing and the honey-garlic batter was to-die-for!

But, as I chewed the calamari seemed to grow inside my mouth. It kept getting bigger and bigger until I couldn’t take it any more and spit it out into my napkin.

We all laughed… while I drank two Cokes and a shot of Jack Daniels to get the taste out my mouth.

So, no. I’m never, ever, ever eating calamari again.

However, I did successfully deconstruct the sauce and batter and use both often.

They just won’t be used with/on calamari in my house! 😀

 

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Pinterest

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 20 – What’s one mistake you keep repeating (and repeating)?

endless circle

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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This one’s easy! Not taking my own advice! 😀

I never offer unsolicited advice. That’s an accident looking for a place to happen.

However, family members and close friends reach out to me often in times of indecision or crisis for insight or advice., and many have found solutions and resolutions by following my advice.

Yet, in similar situations, I don’t follow my own advice. Why?

WHO KNOWS?

My after-thoughts of “Why didn’t I do the-thing-I-advised-someone-else-to-do?” are too numerous to count.

And I’m sure will continue to grow.

Perhaps the objective eye that sees solutions to the problems of others is blind to one’s own self?

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Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 19 – What’s in your fridge, right this moment?

fridge

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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Forgive me for being WAY too lazy to photograph my fridge, but surmise it to say I drink a lot.

No, not THAT kind of drinking. Sit down!

Currently there are:

8 bottles of water

9 cans of grapefruit seltzer water

4 bottles of Coke

cranberry juice

apple juice

orange juice

3 bottles of imported beer

2 cans of wine spritzer

Admittedly, the Coke, beer and wine spritzers have been there a while, but I’ll get to them. 😀

There’s also dairy – butter, sour cream, ricotta cheese, yogurt, and I’m sure my doctor would say WAY too much cheese. 🙂 No milk. I hate milk. 😦

Add various condiments, veggies for salads and stir frys, leftover rice pudding and Chicken Alfredo and that’s rounds out my fridge.

There’s something in a glass bowl with a red top I don’t recognize or remember, and should probably investigate… but not that brave today. 😉

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Image by Alexandra ❤️A life without animals is not worth living❤️ from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 18 – What do you value most: free time, recognition, or money?

time

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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Time, hands down!

Money can solve some problems, but it will never make you happy or complete.

Recognition is fleeting. Everyone experiences their fifteen minutes of fame, and it’s not always a positive experience.

But time is priceless.

We abuse it and take it for granted, and then we’re sad when we can’t get that time back.

Free time isn’t a period between tasks… because we can fill our days with tasks.

These days, we have to pencil in free time. An afternoon or evening is good. A day is better, and a whole weekend is golden.

I add two evenings and a full day of free time to my schedule every week. However, as I write this, I believe I need to add more. 😀

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Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 17 – What are you an expert on? Is it because of training, lived experience, or both?

food on cutting board

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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Cooking!

I scrambled my first egg when I was four years old and have been hooked on cooking ever since.

By the time I was thirteen, I was preparing the family evening meal (for nine), and when I was fourteen, my eighteen-year-old sister and I cooked the entire Christmas dinner, desserts included. (There may have been a bit too much rum in the rum cake that year!) 😀

All my siblings also cook but I didn’t realize I had a knack for it until I was responsible for making a Shepherd’s pie, Macaroni and Cheese, and a Chocolate Layer cake for our family’s contribution to the neighborhood friendship dinner. Everyone complimented my Mom on the dishes, but they were stunned when she told them I’d made them. I was sixteen and have been experimenting with different herbs, seasonings, and cuisines ever since. I also enjoy taking recipes, deconstructing them then recreating something new using the same ingredients.

Many have suggested that I become a caterer, but after making roast beef salad for a family reunion of three hundred, I knew that was never going to happen. Coming from a big family, making large meals isn’t a problem. Making sixty pounds of salad IS a problem and too much like work! For me, cooking is fun, and if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve seen the results of some of my playtime. 😀

My sister bought a leg of lamb for Easter dinner and asked ME to cook it. I said sure and that I’d come of with a flavorful blend of herbs and maybe even encrust it.

She said, “Don’t you just put it in a roaster and cook it?”

That’s one way, but where’s the fun and flavor in that? 😀 😀

 

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 16 – If you could sit down with your 15-year old self, what would you tell him or her?

Wilted Rose

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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I got carried away with this one out the gate! 😀

I stopped myself after listing sixteen things I’d discuss with fifteen-year-old me.

After going over the list several times, I threw it out.

What did I want to tell a younger Felicia? Do I tell her of all the pitfalls coming her way? When to go left instead of right? When to stay or when to go?

None of the above.

I have no love for some of the things I’ve gone through over the years, but I’d like to believe I gained some insight and/or wisdom from them. Okay, okay, most of them, but even if I didn’t, I am the sum of my experiences, good and bad and I like me.

I also wouldn’t want to be like Dr McCoy, time-traveling and changing history in The City on the Edge of Forever. Then Kirk and Spock have to follow him to timeline order which includes allowing Edith Keeler, the woman Kirk has fallen in love with, to die in a traffic accident.

Don’t want to be directly responsible for someone’s death, right? 😉

So what would I tell fifteen-year-old Felicia?

1.Mom and Daddy are always right! Listen to them.

It’s annoying and I hate to admit, but my parents were right… about all of it.

2. You do not have to do it ALL! Asking for help is not a bad thing.

Up until ten years ago, I always took on too many tasks. Sometime to my own detriment.

3. Follow your FIRST mind. Trust yourself.

I’ve overthought myself into some horrible situations simply because I didn’t trust myself.

4. The answer is always no.

This goes hand-in-hand with #2.  When I learned to say no, the earth did not open up and swallow me whole. I still accomplished much, just without the stress. The more you say yes, the more people will ask of you.

5. Don’t worry, be happy.

I’m generally a happy person, but I’m sure I’ve spent years not only worrying about the plights of others, but the fact that I couldn’t fix it. I’m not the peoples Fairy Godmother. It’s okay to empathize… and keep it moving.

 

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Image by capsulabiblica from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 15 – If you could choose your own life obstacles, would you keep the ones you have?

doors

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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Sounds like a great idea and there are things I wish I’d done differently, but different obstacles would have made me a different person. Not sure if I’d like that.

The choices I made to kick down or go around obstacles brought me to where I am now.

I’m not rich or famous, but I’m content.

Alone, but content.

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Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 14 – How do you reign in self-critical voices?

I Love Me

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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We’re all our own worst critic. Sometimes that isn’t a bad thing.

I see myself differently now than I did in my younger days.

Then I was critical of myself through the gaze of others.

Now I go my own way thanks to the wisdom of the years.

When my self-critical voices start, I know I’m veering off course.

I don’t hear the voices as often and have a lot more peace.

 

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 13 – How do you engage with panhandlers on the street?

the homeless

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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It really depends on the situation, but I do try to help.

I rarely give cash but have no problem buying a meal for someone.

However, sometimes it’s not about cash or food.

Years ago, I was out for dinner and a movie with my late husband and his brother. An old guy was sitting on the ground, leaning back against a storefront. He said something as we passed that I couldn’t hear and Den and Larry ignored. They kept walking but I turned around.

It was a cold night, but except for a dirty trench coat, all he was wearing was a beat up pair of house slippers and pajama pants that were too short for his lanky, thin frame.

Den tried to pull me away, but I wouldn’t budge. Then he and Larry got on either side of me and tried to pull me away together, and I began the Mother of all Meltdowns!

Did I mention I was seven months pregnant with our first child?

Yeah. Every emotion went on full blast as I bawled and wailed about how he could be someone’s father and grandfather and shouldn’t be sitting on the cold ground on a dark San Bernardino side street.

They knew they wouldn’t win this one and just as they began forming a plan… a cop drove through the intersection. Den flagged him over. He questioned the guy and found out he was a veteran who was SUPPOSED to have been moved from the local hospital to the VA, but instead some guy he didn’t know put him in a van and dropped him off downtown.

I was furious! No way some random guy took him from the hospital without them arranging it… but that’s a rant for another day.

The officer called someone who was also a vet, and he came and picked the guy up—found out his name was Glen—and said he’d give him dinner and a warm bed for the night and promised to get him to the VA in the morning.

I was satisfied. Den and Larry kept apologizing for being shallow and flippant, but I wasn’t upset with them. Panhandlers and street people are invisible to society for a variety of reasons. People will go out of their way to not engage with them.

While it may be rare, sometimes they’re not looking for a handout or even a meal, but for a few minutes of your time.

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Image by Leroy Skalstad from Pixabay

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#MarchWritingChallenge – Day 12 – Have you ever unplugged from the Internet for more than a week?

unplugged

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This March Writing Challenge of thirty-one questions is hosted by Marquessa, with questions from Alexandra Franzen‘s100 questions to spark conversation and connect.

All are welcome to join in and a list of the questions can be found here.

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Sure have! And it’s probably time to do it again for my own sanity. 😀

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as it was even a year ago.

Not every one is involved in social media, blogging, or watching cat videos.

But it can be a Herculean feat to conduct business without the Internet.

Call any business, private or government, and the menu will always refer you back to their website or app which sometimes can be an exercise in futility when you cannot find your particular issue address or the website and app are simply migraine-inducing. (I’m looking at you, CVS!)

Don’t want to go online? Not a problem, but you could end up in the queue for thirty minutes or more.

The last three doctors I’ve had REQUIRED certain documents be completed online prior to appointments.

Some vendors will recommend paperless accounts and billing is handled via email and websites. No one HAS to do it this way, but every paper billing received will have an insert encouraging you to “go green.” Some businesses will even charge for having to mail out a paper bill.

While I was using grocery delivery for over a year before the coronavirus pandemic, it’s now a near necessity for those of us in high-risk groups, or that are simply tired of people refusing to wear masks and social distance.

Vendors now entice us to shop online with “online only” bargains, double fuel points, and rewards cards.

The internet makes staying connected with family and friends easy. Shoot off an email, post to their social media accounts or start a video call, because who writes letters anymore? What’s even weirder is the growing dislike to talk on the phone!

I confess to having a private chatroom with my three adult children and one with six of my siblings. Though we all do end up online at times, usually we drop posts, comments, memes, and photos at random, 24/7. My daughter and I may have set records for the longest video chats. 😀

So when I say I’m taking a break from the Internet, I mean social media and blogging, because to walk away from the Internet altogether would be taking a break from life.

Hmm… now that I think about it… 😀

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Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash

 

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