Chiara Talluto

Author, Busy Mom, A Woman after God's Heart.

Do Pets go to Heaven?

On Monday evening, January 22nd, 2018 it rained. It was a sideway kind of rain, one that saturates the ground in what can be described as a “good soaking”.

Why is this significant? Well, normally it doesn’t rain in January in the Midwest—we are in the midst of the winter season. Falling rain like that in the form of snow can accumulate into several inches in less than two hours.

This rain was different in many ways. The day started out cloudy and then the sun peaked out around two in the afternoon, only to bring back the rolling dark clouds and fog at dusk when it began to rain all through the night.

It matched my mood and broken heart. You see, my twelve-year-old Black Capped Conure, named Daisy, suddenly passed away. A Conure is small to medium-sized parrot. They belong to several genera within a long-tailed group of the New World parrot subfamily Arinae.

I know what you’re thinking? A bird? You are writing about the death of a bird. Seriously?

Yeah. I am. I’m a writer and this is how I cope with traumatic losses, joyous celebrations, and everything in between. To you, it may be a little bird, but to me and my family, Daisy was part of our home. She gave us love, laughter, joy, frustration, and loud screeches and whistles—music to our ears.

I’ve had pet birds since I was eight years old. Technically, Daisy was my sixth bird. Most of my birds were parakeets with a life-span of 5-10 years. Daisy was a bigger investment not because she costed more, but because it involved more of a life-care investment. Most Conures have a life expectancy of 20-25 years, and require more handling attention. When I bought her I remember praying about the commitment of caring for her. I was in it for the long haul.

Unfortunately, she lived just a week past her twelfth-year purchase date of January 16th 2006. I feel cheated of our time together.

My daughters who are nine and seven are suffering the most. Their whole lives they’ve known Daisy. This is their first pet death and emotionally, it is cutting pretty deeply inside of them.

Daisy had changed over the weekend  of January 20th. She slipped down the cage bars, and then all of a sudden I noticed that she wasn’t eating or drinking anymore but stood on her perch all puffy and breathing heavy. Even when I held her, she was breathing very heavy.

How did this happen? Did I miss the signs?

Well, there were signs now that I think about it. Since December, we were visited by a male cardinal on some days and on other days, a female cardinal on a tree across our backyard. Always between 7:30-8:00 a.m. when I was preparing breakfast for my daughters before they went to school.

Call me superstitious, but I have always been in awe of cardinals. They are beautiful and regal, and I’ve read stories on how people were visited by cardinals after their loved ones have passed. Or, maybe they are messengers from God who bring good or bad news. I even wrote about my recent experience of the cardinals that had been visiting us just weeks before in a previous blog. Click here to read the blog. I’ve also included some useful sites on cardinals under References.

When the male or female cardinal would come, I would stare and wonder what it could be telling me. And, now I know. They were getting ready to take Daisy home.

Really? Yes. I am that sure because my intuition tells me so, plus when my last two birds, Kiwi and Piwi had died, I was visited by Pigeons and Doves right before they passed on, and during our burial of the birds.

Both the male and female cardinals showed up on Saturday and Sunday morning, and then on Monday, a half-hour before Daisy died.

I also think my precious bird was sick for some time too. At least for a month she hadn’t been moving around as much like she used to. December was crazy busy for us that I probably didn’t even notice the subtle changes as I should have. Daisy cuddled with me more when I held her every night. She also had been making these choking sounds, or even trying to talk. I couldn’t tell. She could have been doing that for a while, I don’t know.

Birds by nature can mask illnesses really well especially in the wild. It’s part of their DNA. I wish I had known what was wrong earlier. I should have paid a lot more attention. Maybe, just maybe…

Ah, I can go on and on. I hate myself for being careless.

I called her Vet first thing on Monday morning. He was booked. Then, he suggested I drive to another Vet clinic the next day. I explained to him that I didn’t think Daisy was in any condition to be driven anywhere. It was then that he was able to change some of his appointments and come out to the house in the afternoon.

At 2:15, the doctor arrived. At first, while looking Daisy over through the cage, he heard the sounds she was making and said that they were actual sneezes.  He also said she looked very weak by the way that she was breathing, deducing she might have an upper respiratory infection. He wanted to prescribe medicine but doubted any medicine could help her at this stage.

Upon hearing all this, a nauseating wave swept through my body. My heart began to descend in a slow kind of jolt—like an old elevator stopping from floor to floor.

The doctor then gingerly took her out of the cage and held her to observe her closely and see whether there were any  tumors on her body. Daisy squirmed in his hand like she always did for our yearly checkups the last twelve years. He then placed her in a small plastic Tupperware to weigh her. We chatted for about thirty seconds or so, on what we could do to help her/save her. All the while we heard ruffling around in the small Tupperware, and then nothing. Opening the lid, we discovered Daisy’s lifeless body. Hurriedly, the doctor scooped her up and tried opening her beak, and rubbing her body, but she was already gone.

I watched with my mouth open trying to process what just happened. Daisy died??

The surprised doctor laid her upon a sheet of paper towel on the kitchen table in front of me.  Our vet had come over at 2:15 p.m. and Daisy was dead from an apparent cardiac arrest at 2:25 p.m.

Shock, grief, and a whole lot of tears consumed me as I gazed at my beautiful pet. My mind was in a twister. My kids were coming home from school in less than twenty minutes; how was I going to be strong and tell them that their beloved little bird passed away? Daisy had been alive six hours earlier when they had left for school and now…

When the girls returned home, they learned about their pet. I can’t even describe in words their shock and pain.

Through puddles of tears we buried our little friend in the front yard of our house. Daisy loved the mornings the best and so it was appropriate to have her rest where the sun shines on our lawn each and every day. We prayed, grateful she was not suffering anymore, even though we were saddened of losing her physical presence in our house.

That night when it was raining, I pictured God crying with us. Baptizing Daisy in the earth with His love. I prayed no animal would come and dig her up and eat her. Then, in the morning, there was an inch of snow on the ground and the temperature was in the teens. I felt relief. God had protected my little bird. The soil was hardened and it created a protective shell around Daisy’s body.

And then during breakfast time with my daughters, we saw the most glorious thing before our eyes. Perched on the tree in our backyard, came two cardinals. One male and one female. They jumped from branch to branch. It reminded us of Daisy and now she had come with a male friend. They flew away high in the sky. A spiritual sign she was okay. And, a hopeful promise that she would watch over us from time to time.

So, all this experience of losing a dear pet got me wondering if pets have souls and whether or not they go to Heaven when they die.  I’ve been doing some research and found several sites that talk about:

  • How God views animals as a whole,
  • How God views humans versus animals,
  • Whether or not animals will be in Heaven,
  • Whether or not animals will be here when Jesus comes back,
  • Do animals and/or pets have souls,
  • Does the Bible say if pets go to Heaven?

There is a ton of Bible scripture that for the most part address these questions/concerns and more. After reading through these sites and my own Bible, I’ve come to some conclusions. Know that these are my conclusions and in no way am I in position to push them onto you, the reader. I am still curious and will be asking my Pastor about them. In the References, you will find those sites too. So, grab a Bible (NKJ) and check it out yourself.

Alas, here are my takeaways:

  1. God cares for all creatures, animals included (Psalms). They are part of his creative process. He even says that the animals were “good” in Genesis.
  2. God especially cares for us, the humans because we are made in the image of Him and therefore have souls. He also says in Genesis that humans are to rule over the animals.
  3. I believe that there will be animals in Heaven. In Revelation, Jesus is to come back on a horse. Even in Isaiah it talks about the wolf and lamb eating together.
  4. I also believe animals can have souls. In Genesis, it talks about animals “having the breath of life”. Translation, souls.
  5. Has my pet Daisy, and all my other pet birds been resurrected to Heaven? This I am uncertain of that at this time.

It’s been almost a month since Daisy’s passing. Our house has been so quiet. I don’t have opened pumpkin shells and seeds to pick up from the floor and dirty water to change daily. I miss my Daisy who was always ready to jump in my hand to cuddle and let me give her kisses.

I hope the love and care I gave her all these years was enough. One thing that Daisy taught me was to forgive. Forgive. It’s a word that I’ve been learning a lot about lately. It’s ironic because I am in the midst of editing my third novel, where the protagonist has been suffering from alcohol addiction and journeys into her past to learn how to forgive those that hurt her. Read more about my novel, “Make it Right; Make it Matterhere.

And, as for me, for some years now, I’ve been dealing with certain disappointments in my life that I won’t go into, but I too am trying to learn how to forgive. I can take Daisy’s passing as a sign to do that and move on.

References:

About Conures

http://petparrots101.com/conures.asp

https://stuff4petz.com/types-of-conures/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conure

Red Cardinals and their Significance

https://www.reference.com/world-view/spiritual-meaning-red-cardinal-bird-b6330177389c939e#

http://www.thecardinalexperience.com/symbols.php#.WoMSgkxFzIV

https://www.californiapsychics.com/blog/angels-guides/meaning-red-cardinal-sighting.html

http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/environment/galleries/a-spiritual-field-guide-to-birds.aspx?p=4

Biblical Explanations about Pets Having Souls and/or Going to Heaven

https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/do-animals-or-pets-go-to-heaven-a-biblical-analysis/

https://www.gotquestions.org/pets-heaven.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-pets.html

http://www.answers2prayer.org/bible_questions/Answers/animals/pets.html

https://www.biblegateway.com/

Olympics and Being a Semi-Finalist

So, we are several days into the Winter Olympics that are being held in PyeongChang, South Korea. Our family watched the opening ceremonies where they showcased all the athletes from all the participating countries in the world. My daughters were so excited to see all the men and women who were going to be competing.

My younger daughter had a great question. She asked, “Hey Momma, are all the sports people gonna win a gold medal?”

I replied, “No. Not all will win the gold medal. You see, they have to compete with each other in different categories, such as figure skating, curling, snow boarding, etc. The best athlete for that sport will win.”

She then turned to me and said. “Why do they look so happy to be there if they aren’t all going to win the gold medal?”

And to this, I said. “Because this is a once in a lifetime experience. Not all athletes get to go to the Olympics. And, even if they don’t win. At least they got to experience something so incredible.”

My child pondered this for a moment and then nodded in agreement.

I realize the importance of explaining to my children that competition is healthy and to be the best, one has to put in the effort. Just like a chef who prepares an elegant meal, a seamstress who designs and fits a perfect gown on a bride, a carpenter who prides himself on building a solid home, and writer who labors each and every day to create the perfect prose.

It is why I write. To bring a character and their story to life.

And so, I wanted to share some great news.  I am one of the 19 semi-finalists for the “Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project” for my book, Love’s Perfect Surrender.  I was nominated by Schaumburg Township District Library. It is an honor to be nominated. Winners will be announced in mid-March. Regardless of if I win or not, I am grateful for the experience and be in a group of wonderfully, talented writers. Here’s the link: http://soontobefamous.info/2018/02/12/announcing-2018-semi-finalists/.

In the end, it’s not our destination that makes us who we are, but rather it’s the journey and the people we meet and interact along the way.

 

 

The Not So Lonely Tree Branch

This morning I woke up with a song in my head that I’ve been hearing on KLOVE radio. It’s called, “Gracefully Broken” by Matt Redman. You can see the video here.

The words “gracefully broken” blared in my head that I couldn’t even hear the rush of the water from faucet as I washed my face.

I love this song. It is so powerful. It is a complete and utter giving of all that I can be and need to be.

You see, there are days that I can get up out of bed and bull right through the day, and then there are days, in which my heart feels heavy, my mind is a tornado of thoughts and worries, and my body just feels burdened with responsibility and expectations from others to do this, plan that, and handle it all.

And so, there it was, the song playing in my mind as I made breakfast for my girls and got their lunches ready for school. Why this song of all days? Why today?

And then I looked outside and there he was. Our feathered visitor, the Northern Cardinal.  Perched on leafless branch staring at me through our deck sliding door.

A great comfort came over me. This little guy has been visiting us weekly for the last two months. Like an angel telling me, it’s okay, give in, surrender, and all will work out fine.

My joyless cup was slowly filling. I reached for my cellphone to take a picture of the bird. I’ve done it twice on two separate occasions last month, but both those photos have come out blurry.

Picture A:                                                          Picture B:

Getting the right focus, my older daughters called out to me. “Mom, stop. Don’t take a picture the cardinal. Just remember him.”

Him?

Who? 

God, Jesus, a little spirit watching over me, my girls, my husband, and all my family.

So, I put the phone down and watched our friend, memorizing all of his beautiful details. From his bright red plumage, to his black-masked face, and regal stance, I was in awe. God’s precious life.

And then in blink of an eye, he was gone. But, his image still remained.

We are in the thick of winter here in the Midwest, and the branches are bare as I sit and type on my laptop. They move gracefully in the wind like a choreographed ensemble of dancers. Though the tree is naked, inside it is baring fruit and getting ready for Spring. One day soon, new leaves will emerge. Until then, that tree branch will not be empty. For God will send me an angel of comfort for those days that I am not strong enough.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

Psalm 139:14

References:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal/id

http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/northern-cardinal

http://www.klove.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+139%3A14&version=NKJV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere in Your Silent Night

It’s Christmas Eve.

Salvation Army bells are ringing. Stores are still crowded with last-minute shoppers. Ovens are working overtime with baking goods. Families are reuniting again. And, most churches will be filled to capacity at midnight mass.

As a child, I loved this time of year because of the gifts. Who didn’t. The excitement, the anticipation of opening toys sent from Santa. Yes, we went to mass, sometimes at midnight, other times on Christmas morning. But, the whole mass-thing was just a formality. I never paid attention to the true meaning of this season.

Now that I am older, I realize more and more that the story of our Lord and Savior’s birth and what He came to do here on Earth supersedes any material gifts because He was our gift. 

But I know for others, Christmas time evokes painful memories and experiences.  Rather than a celebration, this day will be another silent night. Many are suffering. Many have lost their way. Many have lost loved ones. And, many have never had a relationship with God’s only Son.

To those who feel they are invisible, and to those with trials and burdens, I pray that on this day, your heart will be light and your burdens will be a little less. Your purpose in this life is not for nothing. You are loved, you are treasured, and you matter.

This post was inspired by this song…”Somewhere in Your Silent Night” by Casting Crowns. Take a listen here.

Blessings to you. Until next time…

Be well. Be safe. Be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baring It All; To Reflect In

Have you ever heard the expressions?

Just bare it all,

Let it go,

Let loose,

Surrender,

Let it be.

I’m sure there are countless other phrases/expressions, but you get the point.

One of beauties of fall in the Midwest are the changing colors of the trees; this until all the leaves fall off and you are left with bare trunks and naked branches.

I often wonder how trees feel being so exposed to the natural elements of wind, rain, and snow.

Do they shiver?

Do they shake?

Do they grip the cold soil digging deeper into the earth?

For after a long winter and things slowly begin to thaw, we know and the trees know that new buds of life will come in and soon those bare and naked trees will once more be clothed.

I try to imagine if a tree had thoughts, what would they ponder on during those exposed months of winter? This of course, got me thinking about the upcoming holiday season.

I’ll admit it, I don’t like or appreciate this season as I once did when I was a child. It’s a rush of craziness from Thanksgiving to Christmas. All the planning, preparation and shopping wears on me—my emotions and tiredness are exposed and I feel bare, I feel raw, and I feel old.

And then I look at the trees who will patiently endure what might be a turbulent season of cold and snow. The key word here is patiently.

Regardless of the temperatures swirling around them, they will stand firm and rooted in the importance of taking care of themselves so that when spring comes, they can yield strong foliage.

I guess this is a lesson for me to not get myself winded by every leaf of imperfection during this splendid celebratory season, but rather keep my mind and heart rooted in my faith—and the real reason for the season, for this is a time to bare it all in order to reflect in.

 

A Food Storyline – Stirring the Pot of Creative Writing

Author Note: I’m a firm believer that “writing” inspiration happens all the time. As writers, we should be open to those blessings and seize the creative bursts when they happen. Inspired by a recent event in which I had made Chili, here is “my creative burst” of energy.

It was a cold and dreary day in Foodville, USA. The whole farm town had come out to a “Chili” management meeting inside the Federal building at the intersection of Thirsty Street and Hungry Drive.

It was a big night for the town and the stakes were high. Standing room only, all the local organic vegetables were present. There were the Green Peppers, the Black and Kidney Beans cousins, Ms. Baby Carrot and her children, Mrs. Yellow Potatoes, the Onion twins, the Garlic triplets, along with the Ground Beef family. The temperature outside may have been 32 degrees, but inside the conference chamber, there they stood simmering in tomato sauce at a blazing 95 degrees.

Just outside the meeting room doors, were Mr. Javier Jalapeño and his girlfriend, Ms. Cathy Carrot Stick. The committee was going to vote on whether or not to let Javier Jalapeño be part of their Chili recipe.

“Move out of my way, baby. I’ve got to talk some sense into them. I’m diving in there.” Javier flexed his muscles.  

“It’s too dangerous, please don’t go.” Cathy pleaded with him.

The chili pepper continued to stretch from side to side. Small in stature, he had a reputation of bringing in a hotter taste to any dish. In recent years, he heard that the Chili was losing its flavor. Turmeric couldn’t cut it anymore, and tough and rough Ground Peppercorn had lost all his corns.

Javier was pleased to have friends like Cayenne Pepper and Sriracha Sauce present in the conference room fighting for him, but the others, Onion powder, and “Hot” Chili mix, well, they were resisting. There was a conspiracy against him. They didn’t want change the current Chili recipe, they didn’t want to add any new flavor, and they certainly didn’t appreciate what a little green chili pepper had to offer. But, Javier had to do something. He was putting it all out there, seeds and stem. He had no choice but to try to convince the farm, the spices, the meats, and the tomato sauce that he was there to enhance the Chili, not replace anyone. Together, they could be stronger, tastier, and more flavorful. And by golly, he was going to do it.

Back at the doors, Cathy Carrot Stick shivered in fear. She knew the drill. It had happened to her. For a long time, she was the best thing since diced tomatoes, but then the Baby Carrot family moved in and she was ousted out of the Chili recipe. As much as she loved Javier, she was old-school and liked how things had been with the “Original” Chili recipe, though; Ms. Carrot Stick wouldn’t ever tell him that.

Torn between love and the mainstream mentality of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Cathy chose her side. It was her heart throb of two years, sexy Mr. Jalapeño himself. With his emerald-green eyes and smooth complexion, their relationship was burning hot, and she vowed to never go back to bland relationships.

“It will be okay. I won’t be long, I promise.” Javier explained.

“Be careful, they’re crazy. They don’t want to change. They’ll eat you alive, if you go in there,” the orange tanned beauty begged.

Mr. Jalapeño pulled his love interest close and planted his lips hard on Cathy. When he stepped back, a veil of smoke arose from her cheeks.

“Babe, no need to worry. I’ve got this. New things are coming and I’m no longer afraid because I’m packing heat. Lots of heat.”

 

 

 

And with that, Javier Jalapeño sprung into the meeting.

#toomuchtimeonmyhands, #sillylittlestory, #Chiliinspired, #Jalapenomakeseverythinggreat, #amwriting, #exercisingmywritingskills, #Afoodstoryline, #writing

Everything I Needed to Learn About Authors; I Learned at Author Events

Is it me, or are authors only consumed with themselves?

Whoa…you say. That’s a loaded question coming from an author yourself.

Yes, it is.

You see, I’ve been to many libraries and bookstore sponsored author events where I’ve observed authors in action.

They are sitting behind a lovely display of books waiting for the readers to approach them, or, standing alone outside a circle of writers who are discussing plot points or point of views.

The ones behind the tables really deserve the “Trophy of Anti-Social” but still have the “buy my books attitudes” because I am snob and my stories are the best, even though I don’t care to ask you about your reading preferences, or even bother to make eye-contact.

Well, that’s a mouthful.

Here, let me elaborate and provide you a visual: Authors sitting on their pompous ass, sipping free coffee and eating store-bought muffins and bagelswhich should be for the customer, but they feel obligated to have anyway, while scrolling on their Smartphones, reading a book not related to their own, and here’s the best, sewing, as if they should be finishing up on chores that could have been done at HOME!

Good grief.

To top it off, they rarely socialize with other authors who are at the tables right next to them. Folks, author events are there not only to sell your books, but meet other authors and network.

Here is something to ponder on. Do you think your books are better than anyone else’s? Are you so close-minded that exploring other writers and the types of writing they do is beneath you?

To me and this is only my opinion, I say…Shame on You. How do you know that the writer across from you can recommend an illustrator for your next book that you’ve been struggling to find for the last three months? Maybe the guy with the green hair and the rocket display becomes your greatest fan and at a later time has an opportunity and he invites you to his daughter’s sixteenth birthday party because now you have acquired a huge following for your YA book.

Seriously?

Yes, and there’s more. Let’s not forget the “hard sell” piece.  A few months ago, I was at an author library event. Walking up to a table in which the man had a display of what looked like crime/cop type of novels, I stopped and perused one of his books, even complimenting him on the cover. When I asked him how he was doing, he boldly replied… “Better, if you bought one of my books.”

What could I say to that?

Here’s a spoiler alert. There is no guarantee that every single person who walks into a bookstore event or library event will buy a book, even yours. Book tastes are very subjective. Just like when you buy shoes. What I choose and what you choose will be different based on comfort and style. Your job is to court the perspective reader. Ask him/her what they like to read, not use the strong-arm tactic.

The same goes for author to author relationship. Learn about each other’s work, you might come away with valuable information for your own writing. The other thing is, if you don’t want to buy their book, support them in different ways: Tweet their book info, do a blog interview, or recommend their book to someone who might read that particular genre. Sometimes, authors do a book swap. That’s cool too. But, don’t expect each and every author or potential customer to buy your particular book.

That’s harsh.

Duly noted, but this is not a flea market. Honestly, I’d rather have someone buy my book who I know will read it, enjoy it, and maybe if they are so inclined, leave a review.

Bottom line. Author events should not be your two-hour relaxation time away from home or family. Get up and talk to people. Make it a point to connect with five new authors at each event.

This holds true for those writers who are afraid to socialize and are hiding behind their display, or leaning against the bookcase, trying to look inconspicuous. It’s hard, the social aspect of these type of events. I honestly get it.  You see, my mind is always conjuring up make-believe characters. I’d rather spend an afternoon behind a computer writing about them, then chatting with real people.

Remember this; cross-networking can lead to many opportunities:

  1. Getting out of your shell and not focusing on “me-me”.
  2. Insight and learning.

Most authors have full-time jobs, you never know if that person is an attorney, plumber, band singer, or real estate agent that you could use in the future. It’s called using your resources.

Snicker.

Yes, your books are your babies, but opportunities can abound when you get your head out of fiction and into the real world.

Smile.

Now, get out there.

#authorrant #writing #authorobservations #locallibraryevents #bookstoreauthorevents #bookselling #connectingwithauthors

The World View from a Child

“The world is not how you see it; it’s how God sees it.”

My seven-year-old drew this picture for me today. When I asked her what this meant she had this to say…(some paraphrasing included):

“This is how God created the world: with beautiful flowers and the cross to remind us of His son, Jesus. Our world is in trouble, Mommy. There are people fighting each other and people saying mean things to one another. Nobody likes America anymore. I don’t think God likes that, so he gave us hurricanes, so we can learn to be nice to each other again.”

My reaction. “Oh, okay. Great observation…Nice job! It looks real pretty. Is this a specific place?”

“No. It’s just a cemetery.”

“Ah, why a cemetery?”

“Because it is beautiful too, even if there are dead people. But, especially if it is filled with flowers.”

And then, I asked where all the “living” people were in the picture?

“I don’t know. Gone, I guess. I have no people.”

“Hmm…Wouldn’t it be okay to have people in the picture?”

“No. People ruin the earth.”

So, my child drew a beautiful picture, one that she believes God envisioned, but with so much division and fighting in our world lately, there probably won’t be any more “decent” people left.

I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite Rocky movies. This one was from Rocky IV (1985):

It’s toward the end. Rocky just beat Drago, the Russian boxer. Throughout the fight the crowd is booing Rocky, but when he beats Drago, they get on his side and begin chanting his name. This is what Rocky has to say about that…

“During this fight, I’ve seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that’s better than twenty million. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”

So, on this Friday and on every day going forward, let’s do something for someone else. A change of heart, a  change of mind, and a change of attitude starts within each of us.

#FridayFeeling, #RockyIV, #TakenfromASevenYearold, #Outofmouthsofbabes, #writing, #ponderinglife, #Changebeginswithyou

 

Recipe for Life

“In the end, it’s what you put into your life; not taken from the life you were given.”

For those of you who know me, know I have a passion for making cocktails. No, I’m not an alcoholic, nor am I promoting alcohol here.  I do however; enjoy a drink every now and then. And, I like to experiment with different liquors in creating new drinks.

Now, I don’t make any kind of foo-foo drinks, either. What are foo-foo drinks you ask?

Here’s a simple definition:

“An alcoholic beverage that is way too pretty or feminine. These drinks are usually characterized by lots of whipped cream, multiple fruit decorations and/or umbrellas. Also, they tend to be low in alcohol content.”

Ah…not for me. I actually don’t like diluting the alcohol content of whiskeys, bourbons, and vodkas. So in essence, the simpler a drink is made, the better.

You see, I can cook, but I don’t like baking. In fact, I dislike baking as much as drinking light beer. So, besides, writing, I enjoy my alcohol too.

Now, where was I? Ah yes, just like baking, “drink-making” is an art. Steps need to be followed when working with the ingredients. Those who are professional “drink-makers,” are called Mixologists.

Let’s define a mixologist:

“A person skilled at making mixed drinks.”

I’m far from professional. You can say I’m a “learned mixologist”. In fact, I had an enjoyable two-year stint working in a wine bar where specialty cocktails and martinis were also served.

Here’s what I’ve learned about making cocktails:

  1. Don’t drown out the alcohol with other mixed liquids, you’ll lose the taste.
  2. Don’t over pour the alcohol, so that it’s too strong to enjoy even a second drink.
  3. Measure your liquids so not to waste anything.

It seems so easy to follow a recipe, and BOOM…something is created. All this discussion on drinks has gotten me thirsty, not to mention ponder about life and how to make the most of it.

Maybe we need a recipe for living?

Now, you might be thinking. Why the heck would we need a recipe for life? Just live it, and make the most it. Isn’t it enough that there are too many rules and laws on doing things?

Yes, there are limitations, but sometimes within those confines, opportunities pop up. So, hear me out. We live in a world of excess. There is an overabundance of:

  • Eating
  • Working
  • Playing
  • Self-Indulgence

Not to mention, constant stimulation and attachment to gadgets.

It’s too much of everything. With that I’ve noticed, comes the immunity to the mundane as well as excitement. There is no burning belly or shock anymore. We have become desensitized to the simple pleasures such as family time, quiet time, and faith time.

So, to make a perfect cocktail, you’ll need specific ingredients; the right glassware, utensils, and mixing liquids. The same holds true for living a balanced life.

Here’s my concocted cocktail:

  • Two ounces of physical touch
  • One ounce of gentle words
  • .5 ounces of “me” time
  • .5 ounces of a caring heart
  • A dash of honesty
  • A sprinkle of stress
  • Add a slice of rest for garnish

Pour all the ingredients into a 12-ounce glass filled with ice cubes of spontaneity and stir. DO NOT SHAKE.

For those of you wanting to know how I made the Dirty Martini in the picture, here is the recipe I followed, click here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/32238/dirty-martini/.

NOTE: I used Tito’s Vodka instead and only two olives.

You can also check my three blogs on Limoncello-making.

http://www.chiaratalluto.com/part-1-a-writers-adventure-to-making-homemade-limoncello/

http://www.chiaratalluto.com/part-2-the-mid-process-peek-a-writers-adventure-to-making-homemade-limoncello/

http://www.chiaratalluto.com/part-3-reaping-what-you-sow-a-writers-adventure-to-making-homemade-limoncello/

Until next time…Please drink responsibly.

REFERENCES:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=foo-foo%20drink

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mixologist

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/32238/dirty-martini/

#procrastingediting, #funwriting, #practicingmydrinkmakingskills, #amwriting, #writing, #mondaymotivation, #mondayminutia

When Your Passion is Their Passion

“My mom is an author.”  “My mom writes stories when we are sleeping.”

Ever wonder what your kids really think of you in terms of what you do? Your actions definitely speak louder than words.

From the moment your child enters this world, you are constantly scrutinized, judged, watched, and studied.

Knowing that notion can make one self-conscious, threatened, embarrassed, or feel holier than God himself.

Think about it. Their influences, ideas, and likes and dislikes, stem from you, their parent. It’s been said many times over; there is no greater job responsibility than child-rearing.

And, your actions have consequences and those consequences can set a path for your child to potentially follow if they can’t discern right from wrong.

So, if you want your child to see you in a particular light, model a righteous role. Set the example. Your joy will overflow when you see your children succeed in all that you’ve sowed for them.

I heard this recently and believe this quote sums it up:

“The wealth of a mom and dad lies in the quality of their children.”

~Author Unknown~

Until next time…

Be well. Be safe. Be happy.

 

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