Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fifteen minutes...

I did not want to say it in advance, but I was thinking about how very negative both of my main doctors are about the fact that I drink Dr Pepper.  I cannot see how one a day can make that much difference, but I thought I would see if I could go without drinking them.  I did.  For a month.

My primary thought?  Who am I if I am not the one utterly, absolutely addicted to Dr Pepper?

The first few days were rough, mostly because of the caffeine withdrawal, even though I switched to drinking fresh brewed tea.  After that, I mainly just missed it.  Do I feel better not having had soft drinks?  No!  Did it help my waistline?  No!  I actually gained four pounds!  What did I learn?  Sadly, I feel I must admit that food tastes better without drinking Dr Pepper.  Let me repeat that:  Food tastes better without drinking Dr Pepper.

I feel as if I have just admitted heresy, having grown up in Texas and spent my college years in the home of Dr Pepper.  SIGH.

Today, I had one with some leftover smoked pork loin someone brought me last week and the Lemon Garlic Basil Potato Salad that I made yesterday.  I think, perhaps, I would still prefer carbonation with pizza, but I believe Dr Pepper will no longer be my constant companion, my sure-fire coping mechanism.  SADNESS.

Now, to be perfectly honest, I shall continue to drink Ginger Ale when the nausea is particularly violent and when I want some orange juice (I just love orange juice and Ginger Ale together).  But I am no longer the gal for whom you must have Dr Pepper if you are to have her over for a visit.

So, who am I??

To occupy my mind, I tried making Sandra's favorite dessert.  Now, I will note that she is basically insane because she did not find the Peanut Butter Nutella Bars all that tasty.  Instead, she sent me this recipe:  Salted Nut Roll Bars.

Now if you look at the original recipe, you will note that her photographs of the end product are nowhere near what mine turned out to be:

Now, I did accidentally halve the butter for the Rice Krispie portion of the recipe, but even if all the butter was in there, I was not going to have a topping that is twice the thickness of the base and marshmallow layers.  Perhaps I do not know how to measure miniature marshmallows?  But even if I have to many marshmallows, surely there should have been more of the top layer??

Did I find them tasty?  Well, given the ingredients, I hardly see how anyone wouldn't.  But I did find them to be odd tasting as a whole.  Especially the cake mix base.  I think that if you just mixed the top two layers all together and came up with some sort of wild and wonky Rice Krispies treat, that would be better.  Plus, am I right in thinking that if you mixed the marshmallows in with the peanut butter chips and Rice Krispies, then you wouldn't need the corn syrup??

Back to who I am without being the One Who Drinks Dr Pepper.  I think I am, now, the One Who Takes Fifteen Minutes.

No matter how late (early) it is when I head up to bed, no matter how exhausted or ill I am feeling, I always take fifteen minutes to pick up the living room and finish off any dishes in the kitchen.  No, I have not cleaned the house since just before Marie's sister visited in the middle of October.  My house really is not clean.  But it is straight.

I have found that if I straighten up the living room—including folding up the throws (and now quilt) and setting them back into place and picking up all of Amos' babies and balls and putting them back in his bed—and then finishing up the kitchen, no matter how I am feeling when I stumble downstairs the following day, I am more at peace walking into a straight and clutter-free environment.  A counselor once told me that what I am responding to is called visual rest. 

Now, I prefer being the One Who Takes Fifteen Minutes to what I really am ... The Anxious One.  Oh, how I loathe my broken nervous system! 

Visitors have commented on how clean my house is. I always correct them:  It is not clean; it is straight.  Visitors will say that they cannot imagine how I keep it so clean (straight).  A part of doing so has been the wholesale reduction of stuff and organizing the whole house so that everything has a  place.  But really it is that 15 minutes.

If I can take fifteen minutes to straighten up as I am heading to bed, anyone can.  I do pick up throughout the day.  I pile things the things that need to go upstairs on the bottom step.  I pile things that need to go to the basement on the edge of the counter.  That way, when I am making a trip to another level of the house, I am moving things along to their proper place.  And when I get things out, such as my toothbrush and toothpaste, I put them away when I am finished, instead of leaving them for later.

I suppose the easiest way to explain is that I am a child of the seventies.  By that I mean I rarely leave a room without turning off the light.  Now, I rarely leave things out once I am done with them. That  finishing off the task makes keeping the house clean (straight) possible.  And taking fifteen minutes before bed ensures a peaceful environment in which to start the next day.

At least it does if you are like me, if you find rest in a clean (straight) environment.

I am Yours, Lord.  Save me!

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