one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak
And that’s how to make Planters’ Rum Punch, an Englishman’s preferred drink to go along with a summer barbecue. The strong is Caribbean Dark Rum, (or try Woods 100), and the sour is fresh lime juice. You can guess the rest ~ (simple syrup and iced water).
Well now, this coming Monday, the 28th of May, is Memorial Day in the USA. It’s also the Spring Bank Holiday here in Great Britain. For some of us this is the first real day of summer, more or less ~ although the weather in most of England and America hasn’t been very summery of late.
Particularly in the USA, this coming Monday is the time to clean the cobwebs of that old barbecue, dust down the patio furniture, invite some friends overs, and hang out in the yard eating, drinking, and shooting the
So, for this week’s Food on Friday I’m going to feature stuff that goes well with kicking back outdoors.
I know a very nice American girl who really likes cilantro and lime. So, first to the BBQ this week is Jessica Merchant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her blog How Sweet Eats. Jessica has this cool recipe for Cilantro Lime Flank Steak, and while it will only take you 20 minutes to cook in the broiler, you need to start marinading the steak on Sunday. Make plenty and take the leftovers to work on Tuesday, (if there are any leftovers).
Cilantro Lime Flank Steak
From San Diego we have the sunshine girl Averie with her Grilled Steak Kabobs, (funny we call these things kebabs in England). You will want a good top sirloin steak for these rich looking skewers. Again, these will cook very fast on the grill, but you want to allow at least 4 hours for the marinade to work.
Grilled Steak Kabobs
If you don’t like steak, then what about these Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs from Chungah at Damn Delicious. Again this dish will only take you 20 minutes to cook on the grill, but you need to allow a couple of extra hours for the marinade to do its work. Looks tasty to me.
Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs
To go with all this meat you’re going to cook on your freshly cleaned BBQ, you’re going to need some salad, and from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, we have this good looking dish; Avocado Corn Caprese Salad, dressed with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. Looks so delicious and refreshing.
Avocado Corn Caprese Salad
From the Californian White on Rice couple we have a very different Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad, something you can make on your BBQ in under half an hour ~ while you’re grilling your other vegetables too. (If you’re cooking any vegetables…)
Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad
I know that most of you like the recipe collections I feature, and here’s another one. From Olive magazine we have the 32 Best Ever BBQ Recipes to help you enjoy the sunshine this coming Memorial Day. I particularly like this very quick and easy recipe for Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo ~ ready in just 20 minutes. Me, I’d use salmon, tuna, or swordfish to make a really top-notch blackened fish sandwich.
Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo
Should you want to make a dessert for your guests, then Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found us a collection of 9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party. I particularly like the look of this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake recipe by Cindy Rahe.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
And finally this Friday, for those of us who aren’t content just to suck back beers, we have another collection from Wide Open Eats, 20 Best Big Batch Cocktails for Backyard BBQs and Lazy Sundays. As a very practiced consumer of alcoholic beverages I particularly like the look of this Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail. this recipe is to make a gallon of the stuff. Personally I’d just tip in a whole bottle of both dark rum and light rum, (and I’d also miss out the metrosexual umbrellas), but that’s me for you.
Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail
the English version of Memorial Day is observed on Remembrance Sunday, as near as possible to November 11th
It’s a solemn occasion.
There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.
Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….
The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.
For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.
There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials. In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:
- Live in a smaller place. Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
- If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company. All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
- Drive a smaller car. Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine. If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
- Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
- Learn some DIY skills. You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners. It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
- Cut out impulse purchases. On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like. All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
- Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place. A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Don’t try to buy love. It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
- Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies. You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
- Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
- Buy generic brands. Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content. Only the packaging is different.
- If you can, then buy in bulk.
- Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch. Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway. And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
- Don’t join a gym. Most of the people who have gym membership never go there. For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
- Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
- Don’t give to a big charity. (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves? The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
- Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.
And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest. Credit cards are NOT money. Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.
You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own. For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked. Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.
Some say that money can’t buy happiness. And that a fool and his money are soon parted. All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.
you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
These days ancient English City of York is full of bicycles, churches, tourists, and pubs ~ mostly pubs. And mostly not a lot of Shakespeare.
unless you are a very attractive American woman, don’t ask to taste a load of different beers before you buy a pint.
You can never get away from where you’ve been.
We cannot change the past, we can only change the ways feel think and feel about the past. Most people have brutal, painful, and regrettable memories of their past. Events from the past have created who we are today, and events from the past will affect us today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and maybe until the day we die and beyond…..
Some of us may say that we are OK with the past, that things that happened in our childhood and adolescence do not haunt us at all. But beware, even if you are not aware of it, everything that you have experienced in the past; good, bad, terrible, traumatic, joyful, boring….. is affecting your sub-conscious today.
Nobody, up to and including you and me, is completely at peace with their past. We cannot, and should not, forget the past. Our past creates in us feelings of anxiety, bitterness, disappointment, doubt, guilt, fear, frustration, hurt, regret, rejection, sadness….. and most of us recall and remember the negatives from our past more than we focus on the positives.
Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Some of us try to run away from our past; changing where we live, drifting from one relationship to another, changing jobs, drinking too much, taking drugs, attempting suicide, and metaphorically running away to join the circus. But none of that running away ever works, for wherever we go we take the past with us. (Even if a suicide attempt fails it will most likely do irreparable damage to the body, mind, and spirit.)
For some of us it’s even worse, because we are also affected by the past of someone who is very close to us, and emotions created by someone else’s past are incredibly difficult to deal with. This is doubly so if our ‘friend’ hasn’t themselves fully come to terms with their own past.
To be cool with the past we must first be motivated to deal with the past. We need to understand what really happened in the past, not just some biased half-memories that we use to fuel our negative emotions today. Try to find out what really happened in the past. Be willing to talk about and fully explore issues from the past. Stop pretending that everything from the past is fine, when most likely it isn’t. Acknowledge your true feelings, whether they be loss, hurt, shame, anger…..
You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. ~ Iyanla Vazant.
Depending how deeply the past affects us, we may need help to come to terms with what happened, how it affected us, and who we are today because of the past. Speaking to family and friends may help, you may need to see your doctor or a therapist, you may talk with your priest or spiritual adviser, you may need something like hypnosis, or you may just need to really meditate, read inspirational books, listen to motivational lectures, or just go for a long walk in the sunshine.
With any luck we may find out that the past is better than we feared. But, no matter if the past is better or worse than we think we remember, we cannot move on from something we don’t understand and we refuse to accept.
That’s the past for you. Not only does it come back at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but it’s set in stone. ~ Jeffery Deaver.
There may well be things from the past that need resolution. This might be very difficult, but the longest journey starts with the first baby-step. Be honest. Be self-aware. Be kind with yourself. Seek to understand yourself. Be kind and understanding towards others. And, give yourself time to heal.
A ship does not sail with yesterday’s wind. ~ Louis L’Amour
Some say that we can become cool with the past by keeping a positive outlook and a strong determination to succeed in finding joy instead of negative emotions. And, that the past only exists in our memories and imagination. All I know is that the past isn’t actually here.
If what you’re doing isn’t working,
then do something else instead.
the angst of solitude, where you’re alone with the cosmos.
I have just been through the Dark Night of the Soul.
Last evening I felt very strange ~ for no readily apparent reason.
Mentally I was quite depressed and melancholy, with a feeling of deep angst thrown in.
My thoughts were wandering into dark places I didn’t want to go ~ places that in the past would certainly have driven me towards strong drink as a way of escape from my own tortured mind.
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. ~ George Bernard Shaw.
Physically I felt weak, my arms and legs were as heavy as lead, and I had severe peripheral neuropathy in my hands and forearms.
It is said that our feelings are kept in our body, and that if we don’t deal with those feelings they will surface as physical symptoms ~ particularly if those feelings are causing undue stress.
Overall, this was extremely painful and mentally uncomfortable ~ I had to reach out to a close friend for support.
I believe that what is going on with me, both mentally and physically, is due to all the introspection I’ve experienced through diligently working through the Hay House World Summit programme. And let me tell you, twenty hours of this in a week is a lot of work.
This is all to the good. It means that I’m not wasting my time with all these audio lessons and films. It means that deep down in my subconscious I’m turning over the dead earth of my past traumas, character defects, and negativity. It means that I am creating a new and better view of myself, my relationships, the world, and the cosmos.
It may be that I am truly walking the warrior’s path.
At least I sincerely hope and believe that’s what is happening to me.
Spiritually, mentally, and physically I still feel like crap today. However, sometimes there has to be a little pain along the way before we get to those sunlit meadows of inner peace.
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.
In this modern world most of us are driven by results, we do things in order to achieve a desired outcome. In this modern world hardly anyone enjoys the journey, what most people want is to get to their destination as quickly as possible. And yet, psychologists know that what our mind and spirit seek most are experiences, and not results.
In my working life I was extremely results oriented, I always had innumerable written plans to ensure that each of my projects produced a specific outcome, with specific deliverables, on specific future dates.
Consequently I was always in a hurry, impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, and unforgiving. To a certain extent these character traits are useful in business, but I also carried these characteristics into my personal life. That may be natural, unavoidable, but it certainly isn’t useful, and it certainly wasn’t the true me.
Aggression only moves in one direction ~ it creates more aggression. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley
Nobody sane wants a good friend or partner who is always in a hurry, impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, and unforgiving. Oh, and I was also very manipulative…..
Because of my conflicted and driven life I was continually unhappy, and continually ill. I was also continually afraid of failure. My life was mostly joyless.
I no longer believe that it’s the outcome that matters most to our mind and spirit. What I believe is that it’s experiences that matter most to us, and not the eventual deliverables. In other words it’s the journey, and not the destination which teaches us the most. Like all things in Life this is probably not a yes / no, black / white, male / female thing.
The yin and the yang are opposite forces. Yet, they exist together in the harmony of a perfect orb. ~ R. A. Wise
I have come to believe that somewhere in between the yes and the no lies a place where either, none, and both exist simultaneously. I have come to believe that the past, present, and future exist simultaneously. And, I have come to believe that it is the journeys that really matter to our body, mind, and spirit ~ not the destinations.
In other words it’s how we live each moment that matters most, not what we eventually achieve.
Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things. ~ Robert Breault
Some say that life is somewhere between an experiment and an adventure. And, that if you follow all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun. All I know is that nothing is more important than this day, this hour, this minute…
The sun may not always shine, so enjoy it while you can.
Time is an illusion; Happy Hour doubly so.
There was once a time when I was very good at altering the Cosmos I lived in to match up with the way I wished it to be, rather than the way it truly was. For most of the time I could pretend that things were much better for me than they really were, but no illusion can last forever. Ergo, every once in a while stark reality crashed through the violet light of my fantasy, and each time that happened was more painful than the one before. It got so that the only ways I could find to escape the pain of reality were even more destructive than suffering the pain.
My life was mostly getting worse.
I did have good times, and the good times could last for hours, days, weeks… But even my good times were falsehoods, illusions. I would shape reality to match my own attitudes, perceptions, and preconceptions.
Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. ~ Albert Einstein
Maybe that’s OK for some, but not for me, not with all my psychological problems. I was shaping my reality to cope with my own defects of character, and that isn’t living, that is just a different kind of escape into just another nightmare. And every nightmare was worse than the one before, until eventually I was suffering the long dark midnight of my spirit. And midnight is not the darkest hour.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn. ~ Thomas Fuller
No matter how far I had fallen, there was still much farther I could fall, unless I chose another way.
A little while ago, and with a little help from a close friend, it became plain that I needed to find new ways of thinking, doing, and being. I had to stop running away and trying to join the circus:~ wherever I went, whatever I did, I always took myself with me.
I had to stop being Mr Know It All, and I had to find a way to stop myself from becoming Mr. Hyde.
Perhaps I have found something, a new way of being. Perhaps I have found a way to make meaningful and lasting changes in my life. It’s not going to be a one-time thing, and my future is not going to be easy, but then most of my past was fucking terrible. So, my choices are simple; freedom from pain and suffering for myself and all those around me, or walk the dark path down into hell again?
Some say that a good friend will help you to move. And, that a very good friend will help you to move a dead body. All I know is that I don’t want that body to be mine ~ not for a good while yet.
If, as Einstein says, the Cosmos is really an illusion, then it follows that happiness is a choice ~ that most people can be just as happy as they choose to be.
Today and tomorrow I choose happiness over misery.
I choose sunlight over the dark moon at midnight.
jack collier email@example.com
Hay House World Summit.
Following my recent return from a vacation in California, it was obvious to me and my friends that there was an empty darkness in my soul.
I made a half-hearted attempt to escape from this by drinking ~ and as usual that didn’t work. Trying to escape into booze and / or drugs never works, not for anyone. Booze is usually a bad idea, and taking drugs is always a very bad idea. Both booze and drugs create more problems than they solve, up to and including dying from alcoholism and drug addiction.
What I really need is help to find a new way of living, new values, a new psychology of friendship and love. I need to find a way towards real spiritual growth. I need to accept the pain of confronting and solving my problems, and I know that I cannot do that through my own sheer willpower, self-control, and self-discipline.
My first impulse was to go and see my doctor, confess my problems, and ask for help. But, you know what, most doctors are very bad at dealing with psychological and spiritual problems, together with the booze that has gone along with mine.
A very close friend then pointed me towards the Hay House World Summit, which is a 16-day journey to self-discovery, health, and success. In 2018 this runs from May 5th to May 20th ~ the timing is ideal for me, and it’s free.
I’ve registered for this and I’m very much looking forward to exploring the 100 lessons and 15 videos.
From time to time I will let you know how this is working out for me.
Wisdom cures so many things, except loves lost forever.
adulteress betrayal cuckold dreaming
erotic flirtatious gratuitous harlot
infidelities juicy kissable lusting
men naughty occult provoking
qualmless rape scary tart
unholy vixen witch
the converse of this post will appear soon
Only I can change my life ~ no one can do it for me.
Life is about change. Without change, without variety, without some stress in Life, all will stultify and diminish. Without change there can be no growth, and without growth and development all things will wither away and die.
I will not meddle with that which I cannot mend. ~ Thomas Fuller
But, as the Serenity prayer tells us, there are some things that we cannot change, some things that have to be accepted, and the wise learn to know the difference. I can think of a myriad of people, places, and things I cannot change. In reality no one can change another person, unless that other absolutely wants to change. This is why it is mostly pointless trying to talk to most addicts in an effort to make them change their ways. This is why many relationships, and many marriages, end in failure and recriminations. This is why there are wars.
A while ago I resolved to stop trying to change others and instead decided to work on myself to become a better person. That is now my lifetime’s project, and it doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Sometimes I make progress, and sometimes I go backwards a couple of steps or more ~ it’s like a man walking into a gale, sometimes he wins and sometimes the storm wins. In the last few days I think the wind won more than I did. In the last few days I went with the wind and my negative emotions, and that meant I really staggered in the wrong direction. In other words I totally fucked-up, again. For me, going with the flow is usually the wrong choice.
Life will do it’s best to deceive you. You may get knocked down, but you must always get up again. The mark of a really great boxer is not that he never gets knocked down. A really great boxer can get knocked down, but he will always get up again. And that’s up to and including Mohammed Ali in his all prime and pomp.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’ ~ Thomas Edison
The English language is filled with wise sayings, allegories, parables, and proverbs. As you would expect a lot are by Churchill; ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often…’ Then from Scotland we have the allegory of Robert the Bruce and the spider, which gave us the saying; ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again…’ But we also have almost the converse of that saying…
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. ~ Albert Einstein.
The Goddess knows I have been there often enough ~ every time I took a drink I expected it to be different from the last time, and it never was. But, somehow I usually got away with it.
Back in my illustrious career in banking I once went into a meeting on Madison Avenue with no ideas and nothing but blank pieces of paper in my briefcase. I had got good and drunk in the Plaza the night before, so I both looked and felt far from my very my best. But I stood up in front of the board of the world’s biggest advertising agency and tried just one more time. I told them not what they wanted to hear, but what I wanted to make happen. It worked. The thing is I didn’t give up, and I didn’t try to change anything except myself.
After that almost debacle I resolved to make a big change by giving up banking for good. It was the wrong change ~ I should have given up booze for good. Back then I didn’t have enough serenity within me to even think about being sober for life.
Right now, today, all I try to do is be the best Jack Collier I can be, sober. That is difficult enough for anyone. I realise that life is difficult and painful. I know that the causes of my problems and pain are my own cravings, lusts, and the blaming others for my faults. I now know that I can’t change others and I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change what I do, and how I react to people places, and events.
I know that the warrior’s road to freedom from continual distress, pain, and suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, spirit… and that’s a hard road to walk in honour, honesty, and truth. I try to always walk that road, and often I fail. But, at least I try, and perhaps not one in ten men even do that.
The world and the sky is ours if we want it enough.