Friday, February 19, 2010

Life is speeding by

I spent the first part of this week stressing out. I was supposed to have company Sunday night but got a call Saturday night postponing the gathering to Thursday night & moving the location from my house to hers. We were supposed to have company Monday night, but their little boy got sick & they postponed for next Monday night. We were supposed to have company Tuesday night, but they canceled & Olin wants to have them over for next Tuesday night. Wednesday night was inspection night at Pathfinders.

I was stressing about Monday night's company because they eat mostly raw & I wanted to cater to that but didn't have a lot of quick easy raw recipes other than salad. I thought I might do some vegetable summer rolls in rice paper wrappers with a couple different sauces to dip them in. Then, since they're not 100% raw, I was going to make some grilled avocado sandwiches, which are like grilled cheese, but with a much healthier fat & way yummier in my opinion. Also, I thought I might try some vegetable sushi rolls. I had all the veggies chopped & the ingredients purchased but when they canceled I breathed a sigh of relief because I really needed the time to get ready for Wednesday Pathfinders. I was supposed to have a worship thought & talk about fire safety & have all Olin's patches transferred from his green sash to his black one & be ready to have the girls unit lead out in opening ceremonies without ever having completed this task in the past.

Tuesday night's company was supposed to be the pathfinder leader & it was going to be a staff meeting, so when he canceled I started freaking out & getting upset because I was counting on clarifying with him all of his expectations for the following night. I learned in college from Derek Morris that clear expectations leads to stability. This is now one of my mottoes. When people don't give me clear expectations I get upset with them. I cannot meet your expectations if you don't spell them out for me. I do not like guessing, estimating, winging it, etc. I am a bookkeeper, a bean counter, an accountant. It's important for me to have clear guidelines so that I can stick to them & everything goes smoother.

Anyway, long story short, my worrying was in vain as is often the case. I was able to work all the way until 5 p.m. & still get to Pathfinders 45 minutes early at 5:15 p.m. I had to change in the small bathroom stall which was super annoying, especially when my big toenail split down the middle right when I was trying to get my black stockings on. I had to throw my jeans on & run to my purse to get my nail clippers & fix it before finishing getting dressed so as not to ruin my only pair of black stockings. We then were able to practice opening ceremonies 3 complete times before the inspector arrived. I feel SO much more confident about it now. It went so smoothly. Then I didn't screw up too bad in drilling & marching. I don't know that my timing was perfect, but I somehow ended up as the last one standing in a drill down. I think it was a fluke. Anyway, they were kind to me I guess. Then the talk about fire safety went fine & I didn't get any complaints about my worship thought at the end. Then the good news came. On a scale from FAIR/GOOD/EXCELLENT/OUTSTANDING - we got a point range that fell in the category OUTSTANDING! Oh, & I got all but 3 of Olin's patches sewn on in time for the meeting & I got my lonely candle making patch sewn on my sash too.

I didn't have everything ready for my Thursday evening get together but it went well anyway. I tried out a sorbet recipe I'd been wanting to try & WOW, was it yummy. We dissolved 6 TB of raw honey in 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (I juiced several cuties), then put that in the blender with 2 TB lime juice, 1 cup raspberries & several frozen bananas. It was like drinking jam. I don't think it needed that much honey. I may try agave next time.

I had a very busy week at work. I was helping make adjusting journal entries to make the 2009 financial statements as accurate as possible as far as the Australia & UK payables were concerned.

In the Bible & Patriarchs & Prophets, I'm in 1 Samuel. I had forgotten that Eli fell over & broke his neck & died when he heard that not only had his sons died in battle but that the ark of the covenant had been taken by the Philistines. I remember being intrigued the last time I read that story because when their god Dagon fell over twice, the 2nd time breaking off his hands & his head, it reminded me of the part of Revelation where it talks about how those with the seal of God will be sealed in their forehead, but those who have the mark of the beast will have it in their forehead and/or their hands. Which means some may wholeheartedly (forehead/frontal lobe is where judgement/discernment/decision making takes place) follow the beast & his image, but others may know that it's wrong, but do it anyway, which is what I see the mark in the hand representing - works, actions, deeds, etc. What do you think? Is the story of what happens to Dagon at all related to this subject in revelation or am I connecting dots that don't belong?

So, for the first time in a while, I plan to attend church. Three weeks ago I was on for potluck, 2 weeks ago, nobody was on, so I filled in. Then last week, the person who was on was home sick, so I helped fill in again. Plus, last week I had superintendents remarks & I was greeter. This week I don't have ANY of those responsibilities so I plan to enjoy sitting in church with Olin for once & helping him count the loose offering like I usually do. This always reminds me to put mine in. I've had a tithe envelope I haven't had a chance to put in for 3 weeks now since I keep ending up in the kitchen. I am thankful that there is a speaker in there & at least I can hear the sermon & everything. I do miss some of the praise & prayer items though, since there is no roving microphone. Well, I have a crock pot casserole I need to throw together really quickly for tomorrow's potluck. I do miss having a 4 day workweek. It is harder to get everything done in time now that I work on Fridays. One of these days I'll have it down to a science...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Welcome, Comfort & Control

I discovered a show called The Chopping Block on Sunday & Olin & I have been watching it since then. We finished it last night. It's only 8 episodes, but a great concept. Master Chef Marco Pierre White, who has trained individuals such as Gordon Ramsay, of Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, etc, is training potential restauranteurs. Eight couples team up, starting out 4 against 4 in two separate restaurants across the street from each other in NYC. They pick the name, the decor, plan menus etc. In various challenges, each team either wins or loses & at the end of each episode, a couple from the losing team is "sacked" by Marco.

I particularly love this show because I find Marco, although intimidating to the couples trying to impress him, rather courteous, calm, cool & collected compared with his protégé Gordon Ramsay, who gets bleeped out on TV a lot, along with kicking trash cans, throwing things, yelling, etc.

I also love the concept of training & guiding couples to see who is going to get the prize of 1/4 million dollars to start a restaurant of their own, which is one of my dreams. I know Olin & I could never be on a show like this because we a) have no formal chef training & b) are vegetarian/vegan. They have to know how to cook all the meats. Also, they all drink & serve wine, coffee, etc.

The thing that inspired this blog was on one of the "Great White" challenges, the team who won, received a renowned maître d’ for the following evening's dinner service. He taught them something very simple that to me was very inspiring. He said when your guests come in make them feel welcome & comfortable & show them that you are in control. What he meant was, don't let them see that you are out of control & chaotic. You have the situation under control, in other words. Remain calm, cool & collected even when mistakes happen.

I feel this principal is quite universal in its application. I was thinking how that could apply to any business, any church, any home, any gathering of people. Like when we have company at Thanksgiving or something. I wanted to make everyone feel welcome & comfortable, but I had an emotional meltdown over my failed attempt at a sweet potato casserole & locked myself in the back bedroom until I could get myself together. This would not be a good example of implementing these principals. I also think it would be useful in Pathfinders, which intimidates me since I did not exactly grow up involved in & feel I'm learning everything slower than the kids. If I focus on making the kids feel welcome & comfortable while maintaining control I think Pathfinders would go more smoothly for me & I would dread it less. In order to do that, more preparation is in order. Olin likes to wing it, but I feel totally lost when I get there if the plan is to wing it. Now I'm pondering...