Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Last summer I started working at a family owned farm. The family that owns the farm decided to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and they teamed up with their elderly next door neighbor Mr. Pickett* who has grown vegetables all his life and has been selling his own veggies out by the road in front the farm for a few years now.

A lot of the time I worked alone with Mr. Pickett, picking and selling veggies. I learned a lot about gardening from him, which I thought was really fun, because I would love to have a garden of my own someday.

Mr. Pickett and I were getting along well. He really liked my work, so as vegetable season was coming to an end he started telling me about the plans he had for me for next year. I never really knew what to say to him about his plans, because I hadn’t decided for sure that I was going to work at the farm again this summer, but I hadn’t decided that I wasn’t going to either. Although there were things I loved about the job, there were also a lot of things that made the job not a very good fit for me.

It was this March that I finally decided that I was not going to work at the farm this year. After making that decision I, of course, had to break the news to Mr. Pickett. This was the first time I’ve ever had to say no to a job offer, and to me, it felt a lot more like I was breaking up with Mr. Pickett than just declining a job. I was so worried that he would be upset or hurt by my decision. I knew he was planning on having me around to help him this year, and I felt guilty that I wouldn’t be there for him, but I also knew I had to do what was best for me.

I was so stressed out and nervous about telling him. It took me a few days to get up the courage to call him. When I finally made the call, I told him that working at the farm wasn’t going to be a good fit for me this year, and that I was sorry I wouldn’t be able to work with him. To my relief he said that he wasn’t hurt, he was just disappointed. He ended up telling me that if I ever changed my mind and decided I would like to work there again, he would always have a job for me.

So, in the end, it didn’t feel like a break up at all. I was so pleased with the way it turned out. When I got off the phone, I actually started dancing around the house from excitement and relief! I had gotten myself so worked up over the situation and thought it would turn out absolutely horribly, but it didn’t!

What do you do when you have to break news like this to someone? Have you found ways to handle these types of situations to make them less stressful?

*Name changed for the sake of privacy.

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Dreams May Change, Cookies Will Always Be Delicious

Photo courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

When I was around 13 I was really into baking. I loved Martha Stewart, I still do, but back then I thought I wanted to be just like Martha. She is a pretty impressive woman, after all. Am I right? I thought it would be so fun to be the next “Martha Stewart.” However, even though I was always prone to romanticizing, I was never completely unrealistic, so I set my sights on one day becoming a baker. What could be a better job for me?! I loved baking, I loved bakeries, I loved eating baked goods! It was obviously the perfect career for me. Then I became aware of the cold, hard truth of the matter. Bakers have to wake up early. Really early. That was the deal breaker.

Though I no longer have the desire to be just like Martha or to be a baker, my love of baking, bakeries, eating baked goods, and Martha Stewart has stayed with me to this day. Now, I sometimes wonder if I might like to have a bakery of my own someday. Of course, I know I would still have to get up early, but I might be more willing to do that for something I really love, which may, or may not be being the owner and manager of a bakery. For now, I will continue to enjoy imagining owning my own bakery, choosing wonderful bakers and staff, and decorating a building to turn it into the lovely bakery I have pictured in my head, and of course, envisioning all of the delicious recipes that would be made in that bakery!

What is a dream that you’ve had that has changed?

I baked these cookies back in January for my New Year’s Resolution to make one new dessert recipe each month, instead of baking the same old favorites over and over again. I have wanted to try a recipe for double chocolate cookies for quite a while now. I wanted them to be soft, and chewy. Naturally I looked to Martha (MarthaStewart.com, to be exact) to be my cookie guide. This recipe fit the bill.

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

Do not bake the cookies to a crisp; they are meant to be soft and chewy. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days.Note: Don’t worry if the batter seems thin. It should look more like a brownie batter than a cookie dough.
 Everyday Food, Volume 5 September 2003  
Prep Time 20 minutes 
Total Time 45 minutes 
Yield Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate.Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

My Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

Recipe Review

These cookies were, indeed, soft and chewy, just as I hoped they would be! They are what any chocolate lover could want, rich and delicious. Perfect with a glass of milk. The only thing that I did slightly differently for these cookies was use regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, instead of the chocolate chunks the recipe called for. They definitely need to be stored well, because by the third day they started to get dry and crumbly. I was storing them in a container by themselves, next time I would add a slice of bread to help them stay more moist. I also thought I might make them when I would be sharing them with a group, so that they wouldn’t make it to the 3-day mark. All in all, I thought they were great, and I would absolutely bake them again.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 4

Weekly Photo Challenge: Light

When it comes to photography, I’m probably as much of a novice as you can get, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying taking pictures! After seeing what the challenge was for this week, I thought it would be fun to take part, because I happened to have taken some photos that worked for the “light” theme just the other day.

It was March 30th when I looked out my bedroom window and saw snow gently falling from the sky. I was so excited! You see, I love snow. Always have, always will. I sat by my window for a minute to soak up the beauty before it was gone. It was a very light snow, so I didn’t think it would continue for long. And I certainly wasn’t expecting the lovely snow to stick to the ground. But it did! Later that day, when I took my dog Monty out for jaunt around the yard, the snow was heavier and falling faster to meet the ground below. I was so pleased that it was turning into a snow day, most likely our last of the season, so I took my camera out to capture the day.

 

I like seeing the change of color in the snow from white by day to blueish by night.

 

 

I love the look of snow when it rests ever so gently on branches.

 

I really liked the way the street light looks behind the tree branches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope these brought a little bit of brightness into your day!

 

I’m Joining the Post a Week Challenge!

The title pretty much says it all.

But what it doesn’t say is why.

If you have read my first post you might remember that I started my blog with the intention – check that, with the desire to post something at least once a week.

I say desire instead of intention because I haven’t been very intentional lately. I want to be, and there are times that I try to be, and there are times that I am, but there are other times (and these times seem to be in the majority) that I am not intentional and don’t even try to be.

Instead, I have been stagnant.

I do not want to be stagnant anymore.

Life does not get better by doing nothing.

Life will only get better by doing hard things.

By doing the hard things my weakness will start to fade and my strength will start to grow.

What is the best part of this journey?

I do not have to do it alone.

God is with me.

He wants me to grow, He wants me to learn.

Learn how to get up when life knocks me down.

Learn how to be willing.

Willing to do the hard work.

Willing to be joyful.

And He will be there. Always.

Waiting for me to work with Him.

Waiting for me to follow Him.

There will be plenty of bumps in the road of Life.

I must persevere.

There will be times I want to give up.

I must continue to strive.

There will be times I will be afraid.

I must be bold.

I want to live my life with intention.

I think writing is helping me. It helps me reflect on my life in a more positive way, it helps me gain motivation, and I do think that it helps me to care and think more about how I spend my time, and in doing so, helps me live my life with more intention. I don’t want to lose that. Right now I need all the help that I can get, so I want to keep writing.

That is why I am joining the Post a Week challenge.

James 1: 2-4

Consider it pure joy, my bothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.