Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom - Sometimes Life is Like Raising Cabbage


"It's never too late to change the direction your life is going."
Wayne Dyer


I've come to cabbage late in life. I didn't care for cabbage when I was young and we never grew it in our garden back in New Mexico. But since I got back to gardening nine years ago when we moved to Harmony, I serendipitously discovered I have a way with cabbage, a super green thumb when it comes to raising them. For reasons beyond my understanding, I often end up with these massive heads.
One good thing leads to another. When you grow something this beautiful, you have to find interesting ways to eat it. Thus my success in raising cabbage has led to my finding and learning to cook some great cabbage dishes. Who knew - Scott Farnsworth the Cabbage Chef!!?? Two of my favorites are Scott's Cabbage Steak* and Scott's Cabbage Stew**. (See recipes below.) Trust me, these are absolutely easy to prepare and so delicious!


So what do cabbages have to do with life? One thing I've learned from my adventures in Cabbage-Land is that you're never too old to develop new interests, learn new skills, and discover new talents. Just because you weren't a child prodigy in cabbage-raising or cabbage-cooking or anything else doesn't mean you can't become proficient at any age. Just go for it! Late-in-life blooming doesn't require anyone else's approval - you can just do it for your own enjoyment. 

Staying alert to new opportunities adds depth, breadth, and length to life. When we close the door to new learning, exploration, and innovation, we condemn ourselves to an early demise, even if our body is technically still alive. Being over the hill is strictly a state of mind, which I intend to resist as long as possible until someone finally pulls the plug on me. And then I'll be on to the next big adventure, this time in heaven.

*Scott's Cabbage Steak

1 head of cabbage
8 teaspoons canola oil
4 teaspoons butter
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut 4 (1 ½ inch) vertical slices from a head of cabbage. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil and 1teaspoon butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cabbage steak; cook 4 minutes. Place, seared side up, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat with more oil and butter and remaining cabbage. Bake cabbage steaks at 425° for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4.

**Scott's Cabbage Stew

1 ½ to 2 lbs. lean ground beef

1T extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
½ cup water or broth or V-8 juice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
Cook beef and onions in olive oil. Drain. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Serves 6 to 8.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom - Having a Bad Day?



"Was it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?"  



The road of life is full of potholes, detours, and even washouts. Some folks seem to relish their troubles and take great pleasure in playing victim. They've learned how to turn a cup of spilled milk in the morning, a rude driver on the way to work, or an unfortunate comment in the grocery checkout line into an entire day of darkness.

Bad things happen to good people, no doubt. But even in the midst of serious difficulties, we are not merely the sum total of all our circumstances. Instead, we possess the power to determine what our days and ultimately our lives will be. I side with C. G. Jung who said, "I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become."

In good times and in bad, I choose to be happy. I choose to be optimistic. I choose to look for the less fortunate and help relieve their suffering. I choose to smile in the face of setbacks, knowing that "the long way around" is also full of breathtaking vistas and unexpected opportunities. I choose to turn those bad five minutes into an interesting story to share with loved ones as part of another beautiful day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom - How Do You See Them?



"The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become."  
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


When I was still in my teens, a wise and inspired advisor counseled me to "have an influence for good wherever your lot may be cast." Over the years I have learned that in any situation the key to having a positive influence is in the way I see people, as Goethe says.
Take, for instance, my role as a business owner. If I question the intentions, reliability, competence, or initiative of my employees, I'm likely to micromanage them, create lots of workplace rules and regulations, and fail to trust them with important information and assignments. The result: workers who can't seem to get the job done unless I'm constantly looking over their shoulders; workers who sit around waiting for instructions, fearful of offending the boss; workers who are out the door at the earliest opportunity.
On the other hand, if I see my employees as responsible, creative, trustworthy, hard-working, and loyal and I treat them that way, guess what? I consistently end up with responsible, creative, trustworthy, hard-working, and loyal team members. I'm pleased to say that in my company I have a work force that gets the job done whether I'm there or not. They take the initiative, seek innovative solutions, and give their all in every situation. That is how I see them, that is how I treat them, and that is what they have become.
So what kind of people do you want around you? It's all up to you, because what you see is what you get.