Love Is Like A Game

Love is like a game
Only the best can win
I am who I am
For I have no name
Let the game begin…

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What you see is what you get
If you don’t like what I have to offer
Then don’t make me suffer
For I need to be
Don’t try to control me

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Love me for who I am
And not for what you think I can
For this is me
Just let me be

My soul is like a free spirit bird
Wanting to be heard
For I need to sing
So I can be spread my wings
And become an amazing being

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You can put me in a cage
And clip my wings
Give me all the pretty things
Whisper sweet nothings
But it would not mean a thing
For my soul can’t sing
I would only be empty…

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Good Things Take Time…

I’ve been trying desperately to find work since the closing of my restaurant in October. Yet, it was one rejection after another. I discovered the grass isn’t always greener somewhere else, especially in the desert.

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I was facing homelessness and was to the point of great despair about life when the generous support of a caring friend came to rescue me in time. I was given the opportunity to start over. Although, when I no longer have my restaurant to keep me busy, I knew the lack of diversity and slow pace life style in Arizona just wasn’t for me. I moved back to the place where my heart is.

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See Through The Forest

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After moving back in December, while I had a roof over my head and food to eat; I was still struggling to find work. Once again, it was one rejection after another. After three months of rejections, I was so disgusted with all the bullshit employment discrimination: too old, over qualify, not enough experience, too skinny, too whatever… when I was rejected for making sandwiches, I really hit bottom. I came home feeling so useless and sad but also angry. I just couldn’t believe that someone with my experience and qualifications was so unemployable.

After ranting to myself, I decided I wasn’t going to let these rejections get the best of me. I told myself that someone out there will find my skills and talents an asset. I just need to have faith that good things will happen soon… and wouldn’t you know, ask and you shall receive. The following week, I went from willing to be a sandwich maker for a minimum wage to being hired as a General Manager in charge of a rest stop building project by a multimillion property developer. The rest stop will be a destination place with a restaurant, a gift shop, a beer garden and a wine tasting room. And as if the new job wasn’t enough, a creative director from a well established Oregon magazine, saw the photos on my blog and decided to use some of the photos for a feature article in their next issue, including the cover. I was beyond elated by the turn of events. I mean, I went from unemployable to being a general manager and a professional photographer all in two weeks.

The other night as I was watching a silly comedy movie called Rat Race, one of the characters said this quote… “Good things take time, great things happen all at once”. While the movie isn’t exactly award worthy, the quote got me to think about all the great things that seem to happen to me all at once in the month of April. Yes, it took many years to build all the skills that I am now using for managing the rest stop project. And for the last three years, this blog gave me the opportunity to developed the photography skills to take photos that is cover worthy!! The magazine will hit the stores tomorrow. Yup, doing the happy dance… ūüėÄ

I Made It!

From The Heart

The best kind of love is the one that comes from a selfless heart.

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(This photo was created by shooting a heart shape fire opal stone on a black granite tile in front of a window. I used the light from the window to create the bright contrast on the black granite background. In Lightroom, I changed the white balance, brightness and saturation to get the reddish color. I used Photoshop to create the etched text.)

Moonlight Over Sunrise

There are moments in time where even night and day can coexist — to help bring out each other’s true beauty and strength.

Even though the affair maybe brief; it’s the wondrous beauty discovered during that brief encounter you will remember for a life time.

The Rituals of Fleeting Love

Love at first sight: When the heart flips and do the happy dance.

Create good impression: “I hope she likes my beautiful feathers…”
The thrill of the chase: “Oh¬†I know¬†she is just playing hard to get…¬†I’ll make her want¬†me.”
The joy of honeymoon: “You are absolutely the most beautiful duck in in the pond…” And, “You are my knight in shiny feathers.” They both cooed at each other.
The arrival of responsibility: “Hmm… didn’t know I was going to be an Octomom.”
All work and no play: “Okay, Junior… how many times do I have to tell you… keep your bottom up and don’t splash so much. You just wait until your dad gets home!”“Aww mom… we just want to have a little fun.”

¬†The honeymoon is over: “I don’t really want to hear about your complains… you used to be fun before the ducklings were born.” He quacked loudly. “Well, maybe if you help me around the nest a little more…” She¬†quacked back.
Roving eyes seeking greener pasture: “How could you… you told me I was the most beautiful duck in the pond?!!”¬†She cried. “Well, she doesn’t nag at me all the time… and she makes me feel important.” He explained defiantly.
Separate ways: “You know what… I think we need to take a break from each other for a while… you can have the nest and the ducklings.” He said. “Oh sure, and you get to run off and have fun.”

Love In The Social Network Era

Text me, tweet me… the new dating etiquette of the 21st century.

Keep Your Heart Merry with Chocolate

Nothing warms the heart and soul like a good cup of hot chocolate with a towering heap of whipped cream. ūüėÄ

Very Merry Hot Chocolate

Make 3 Cups
Ingredients:
1 Cup Powder Milk
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
3 Cups Boiling Hot Water

In a heat resistant¬†bowl — combine powder milk and chocolate chips. Carefully, stir in hot water and whisk until powder milk and chocolate chips are completely dissolved. Pour hot chocolate in a mug and topped with whipped cream. Enjoy!

It’s More Than Just A Cookie – part 2

“The cookies tasted terrible. They were hard and lumpy. Instead of the enjoyment I had envisioned; I was told not to make any more cookies. With tears in my eyes, I threw all the brown poop lumps into the garbage.”

I sat on the steps feeling dejected from my failed attempt at baking and was afraid that Tina would be disappointed with me. The next day, I went over to Tina’s as soon as I got home from school. And when she asked me about the cookies, tears welled up in my eyes as I explained about the failed cookies. Instead of being upset, she just smiled and comforted me. She explained to me the importance of the ingredients I had omitted. Then she went on to bake the cookies again with me so that I could see it done properly.

I’m happy to say, the cookie lesson paid off. Defying my dad’s order of never to make cookies again — I¬†baked three-dozen gooey, chewy, mouth-watering cookies that forever changed¬†the opinions of my family about my baking ability. As for Tina –to say she was a nice neighbor would be an understatement. Tina was the special “mom” to me for the next three years. And to this day, her many life lessons stayed with me.

¬†That’s why every time when I bake chocolate chip cookies; it is more than just cookies for me. It’s about someone showing love and kindness. And perhaps that’s why Chocolate Chip Cookies is the most popular. It’s a¬†simple cookie — yet when you bite into it; the warm and fuzzy feeling you get is unexplainable.

So… here is the¬†recipe to make these wonderful cookies. I hope they will make you feel warm and fuzzy…¬† ūüôā

Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
2 cups Chocolate Chips (12-oz. pkg)
1 cup Chopped Nuts

Make Approx. 36 Cookies

Preheat: Oven to 375 F
Combine: Flour, baking soda and salt in small bow. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Baked: For 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The direction on the package seems simple enough. However, as I have discovered during my first attempt; the direction can be misleading for someone who is not familiar with baking techniques. Tina gave me some tips not listed on the package direction and that is to — scrape the bowl constantly during beating of the dough. This insures all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. So that the cookies will spread evenly during baking. And another tip is to not add all the flour mixture at once. It will save you a great deal of mess if you add about 1/2 cup at a time but also you would not lose any ingredients. As I’ve learned the hard way that even 1 teaspoon can make a big difference between success and failure on the outcome.

Here is a tip on how to get perfect, round, even size cookies¬† — the ice cream scoop. It is one of the¬†must have¬†cooking tools to have in your kitchen.

Have fun and enjoy!