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Posts Tagged ‘anger’

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Seems the world is brimming over with anger these days. People are frustrated and lashing out in so many different directions. It’s hard to maintain a happy outlook with all that is being thrown in our direction. Ever noticed how contagious a bad mood can be? Even if you’ve been vaccinated it spreads like a sneeze in an allergy ward. People suffering from a bad mood are easily identifiable. Symptoms include a perpetually down turned mouth, protruding lower lip, varying degrees of Turrettes Syndrome-like behavior, loss of functional sense of humor, and generally wanker-like behavior. I’m just sayin. We all suffer from bad moods now and again, some of us more often then others. I’m not naming names here. You’ll recognize yourself if you’re out there.

Most of the time I’m a fairly happy human. Just in my general makeup I think. Over the years, when the situation has dictated it, I’ve been depressed or suffered through some sad moments, but for the most part I’m up and raring to go every morning I’m lucky enough to find myself here. This I consider a blessing, and one I am very thankful to have been given.

Getting mad here and there is a good vent. I’m not saying one should run about looking perpetually as though you just got a double shot of Demerol, but attitude really is important on managing life. Realistically sometimes life hands us loaded bombs of misery which no amount of smiling silliness is going to erase, but for the most part happy upbeat people are generally more pleasant to share an afternoon with. In my humble opinion again, as always.

Another thing I don’t have a lot of patience for is arguing. Fighting to me is energy draining, solves little, and generally leaves you with a less than satisfactory conclusion. If you think you are right and your opponent thinks they are right, most likely after expending all the energy to debate the issue the outcome will be you think you are right, and your opponent thinks they are right. Hmmmmm. What’s wrong with this picture? Debating a subject is a totally different chicken. Debating, actually, can be stimulating. Invoking you as a participant to address other points of view and be open to other ideologies or philosophies not your own. Airing differing opinions on a subject and looking at both sides can be fun. When it goes beyond healthy debate and blooms into full time aggression, however, I say it’s time to put a cork in or or take one out and get over it. Agree to disagree, or put it away. I had a counselor once who said, “ask yourself how important it is in the scheme of things in your life, to win the argument”. Are you listening to the person on the other side of the disagreement or waiting impatiently for them to finish a thought so you can interject what you want to say? She suggested you rate the importance on a scale between 1-10. If you’re at 10 take a walk, do some push ups, mow the lawn, and come back to it when you’re at a five or below. I liked that idea.

The counselor I referred to above was teaching at a communications seminar I attended in the late 70’s funded by my job. Ahhhhh, the age of enlightenment the 70’s. We were mixed into classes with strangers and taught skills to communicate our feelings in a more productive way both in our business and personal relationships. Some worked, some not so much. During the seminar they put us in pairs. After choosing a partner they asked us simply to say to one another, “yes” and “no”, with each participant taking one side. In the beginning we were to say the words calmly. For example, I would say “yes”, in a calm voice and my partner would answer with “no” in a like voice. As we moved forward each time we exchanged the words we were to accelerate the level of our voices getting louder with each time around. By the time we were yelling I found my pulse racing and that I was actually angry. A really interesting study on how you present what you are saying and at what level.

Odd really how alike we are all in basic makeup, yet how drastically different one personality is from the next. Although they say we all have a “twin”, I’ve never found mine. Overlooking that possibility we are left with the fact each of us are totally unique as beings. Taking all that into consideration it is amazing any relationship, not to mention marriage survives after the first hello. When asked what I believe is the magic combination for a lasting union I always answer compromise, love, and friendship. When the initial blush settles down to day to day living, friendship becomes really important, for me at least.

So, I shall continue on my way content to be more of a lover than a fighter and associating myself with those who feel the same.

This pie would make a pretty addition to a July Fourth table but like magic it will disappear quickly.

Berry Berry Pie

1 baked and cooled pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pie crust in pie pan and top with two layers of tin foil. Fill tin foil with loose dried beans. Bake on lower rack of oven for 25 mins. Remove foil and continue to bake about 5 mins. until bottom of shell is brown. Cool on wire rack.

Filling 1

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

In small bowl beat ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread onto bottom of cooled pie shell. Keep refrigerated until you add filling 2.

Filling 2

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1 3 oz. pkg. strawberry gelatin
1 Tbsp. butter
2 lbs. hulled strawberries, whole
1 cup blueberries

Mix sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt, and water together in small saucepan. Bring to boil over med. heat stirring constantly until boiling. Continue stirring for 2 mins. until liquid is clear and slightly thickened. Add gelatin and mix until dissolved. Add butter. Pour over berries and toss to mix. Spoon into shell. Cool at least 4 hrs. before serving.

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Road rage is in the news again this week. A Las Vegas mother of four shot after an incident with a neighbor triggered by something that happened while both parties were in their vehicles. I’m the first to admit I get annoyed by inconsiderate drivers or people who insist on riding my bumper. Never, however, have I become so enraged I felt it necessary to arm myself or attack the other person. Arriving at my destination a few minutes later is better than not arriving at all.

One of my favorite scenes from a movie would be the one in Fried Green Tomatoes where Kathy Bates has her parking spot taken by two young girls. Bates leans out and explains politely she had been waiting for that spot. One girl responds, “Face it lady, we’re younger and faster”. Piled on top of the rest of the problems occurring in her life Bates rams the girls car out of the spot pulling in her car. On exiting the vehicle she yells to the excited girls, “I’m older, and have more insurance”. We’ve all been in such a situation. People can be rude and less than thoughtful. I run into it every day. Several days ago I was walking out of the pharmacy with a load in my arms. They recently instituted a plastic bag ban in our town and I keep forgetting to bring my reusable bags. At any rate a woman in front of me seeing me juggling my load of 2-ply Charmin, simply let the door go in my face knocking several packages to the ground. Turning around she looked at me, smiled, and kept on walking. The man behind me stopped, picked up my packages and walked with me to the car commenting that courtesy has all but disappeared in our world. Never during the whole scene did I feel like running the woman down in the parking lot or following her home. Not that important in the scheme of things. Really.

Often on the road I’ll encounter someone who is tailgating and passing everyone in front of them, weaving in and out of traffic. Arriving at the next stoplight that same car will be sitting behind all the others waiting for the light to change. All that activity didn’t really have much effect on how quickly he was going to reach his designation, but the unsafe lane changes and bumper running could have effected how others got to theirs or if. Unless you’re driving an injured person to the hospital what can be so important as to endanger your life or the lives of others to get to?

Anger is becoming a way of life. Every time you turn on the TV it’s in your face. Not long ago I watched my young grandson going through the levels of a video game. Military men, or cyborgs of some type, were shooting at one another with high-powered automatic weapons. Bloody limbs were flying about everywhere. The game, I was told, was purchased for his older brother. This may be, but it was not his older brother who was manning the controls. Kids are reacting, I believe, to all this violence with violence. Never in all the time I was in school or my children were in school did I hear of one case of a student shooting at other students on the school ground. Surely it had happened, but not in the alarming number of incidents we hear about today.

When married to my ex-husband, a Texan, we had a gun in the house. There were no worries about children getting hurt at that point, they were grown. Neither the dog nor the cat seemed to have any interest in the weapon, although both might have paid more attention had they known it had the propensity to eliminate the large red squirrel fond of taunting them in the yard. Truth was, it scared me. Bought for my protection, he worked nights at the time, the weapon made me more nervous than if an intruder was in the house. After several failed attempts at being able to even chamber a bullet, the decision was reached to leave it on safety underneath the nightstand on nights when I was there alone. Most probably I would have shot off my own foot before hitting an intruder, but he felt better knowing I had a way to defend myself such as it was.

I took it out only once when an errant possum wandered in the yard and got its head stuck in the tin can used to catch drippings beneath the barbecue. Other than that it remained where it laid until it went with him when he went and I wasn’t sorry to see it go. Growing up in Texas he explained they learned early to respect and use weapons. His daddy, so he said, kept guns in the house but all four children knew not to touch them and if they had occasion to use them, how do to so safely.

Violence has never been my first course of action. In the case of protecting myself or someone I love, I’m sure I would be spurred into action. I do know if someone took my parking place or passed me and shot me a universal hand signal, it would never be worth anything other than perhaps returning the favor. Obviously something far beyond the incident on the road must push these perpetrators of such crimes to the breaking point.

At any rate, dark thoughts for a gorgeous day. Unbelievably I have daffodils blooming on my hill and the cherry trees already magnificent down the road. Strange year for weather. Weather gurus are saying this could be a long drought for we Californians. Not good news for those people making their living from agriculture in the central valley.

On a cheerier note. This cod is so delicious. I make extra bruschetta and put in atop garlic bread. Yum.

Alaskan Cod with Olive Bruschetta Sauce

Olive Bruschetta

3 Roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped fine
1/2 Tbsp. EV olive oil
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a pot of water to boiling. Cut a cross on the bottom of each tomato. Drop in water for 1 min. Retrieve with slotted spoon and cool. Peel, seed, and chop.

Mix tomatoes with remaining ingredients. Allow to sit in refrigerator for 1 hour.

2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup fresh fennel, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
Olive bruschetta
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Alaskan Cod filets
Hot cooked pasta

Melt butter in large skillet over med. heat. Add fennel, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5 mins. until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, bruschetta and basil to pan. Heat until bubbly. Add cod to pan pushing down into sauce and ladling some on top. Cover and cook for 8 mins. or until fish begins to flake.

Serve over cooked pasta tossed with butter or olive oil and chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Serves 2

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