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Are You Celibate?

 

1 111 Monestary

In an ancient monastery, a new monk arrived to dedicate his life to copying ancient records. The first thing he noticed was that they were copying books not from the original source document, but from previously made hand copies.

He had to speak up. “Forgive me, Father Justinian, but copying additional copies from previous copies as opposed to the original allows many chances for error. How do we know we aren’t copying someone else’s mistake? Do we ever check our copies against the original?”

Father Justinian was startled! No one had ever suggested that before. “Well, that is a good point, my son. I will take one of these most recent copies down to the vault and study it against the original document.”

He went deep into the vault where no one else was allowed to enter, and started to study. The day passed and it1 Monk was getting late in the evening. Father Justinian had not returned from the vault for evening prayers or for dinner. The monks began to worry. Finally, one monk decided to go look for him.

As he started to make his way down to the vault he heard loud sobbing. “Father Justinian?” he called out. As the monk moved on the sobbing became louder and more impassioned. He finally found the old priest sitting at a table with both the new copy and the original ancient book in front of him. He was sobbing uncontrollably, and it was obvious he had been crying a long time. “Father Justinian, what’s wrong?” asked the monk.

Father Justinian looked up at him with red eyes and sobbed, “Oh my Lord, the word is ‘celebrate’”

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I do not remember where, when, why, or even who gave me this story. But it is my favorite for lots of different reasons.

I bring a broad, wide, and expansive perspective to this parable. I do not take it literally, although as a baptized Catholic I do get a special laugh reading the story.

I take the story to be a metaphor for life itself.

Too often we take life and ourselves too seriously.

Too often we are ‘celibate’ about life itself!

For me life is a celebration!

For me life is simply to be enjoyed!

Yes. Life is hard. Sometimes life hurts. The tears come. But that does not stop me from finding joy – from looking for the joy – in every day.

1 backThirteen years ago I had a serious back injury. I spent six months flat on my stomach in bed. The pain was excruciating twenty-four seven. No pain killer would even dull the pain.

At one point in time one of the doctors told me I may not walk again with out the aid of a cane and may even be wheel-chair bound for the rest of my life. I was so depressed. I thought my life was over. I indulged in self-pity for a good twenty-four hours.

Then out-of-the-blue I remembered Deecie. She is the deceased mother of a friend. Deecie had polio as a child and was left crippled. She got around in a wheel chair.

She had a beautiful smile and an easy laugh. Her eyes were always bright with love and joy. She went out to dinner, went to movies, and took ‘walks’ in the park. This was in the early seventies before even dedicated parking spaces for the handicapped. No one ever had more fun than Deecie had. No one smiled and laughed more than Deecie.

Deecie lit up every room she came into. She just had this aura about her. No one enjoyed life more than Deecie!

I decided that day that if my back did not heal, and even if it did, I would be just like Deecie. If she could do it, I could do it. I would do it!

Luckily I only loss ten percent of my muscle mass in my left leg and I healed. Unless I tell them, most people do not ever notice that when I am tired or have strained my back I walk with a slight limp.

But  ever since that day when I gave up self-pity, I take joy and celebration very seriously.

Celebrate life. Celebrate food. Celebrate friends. Celebrate nature. Celebrate the sun. Even celebrate rain and snow. Celebrate children. Celebrate walking. Celebrate the air. Celebrate a blue sky. Celebrate your job. Celebrate dance. Celebrate song.

In the course of a day there are little irritants for most of us. For many there are big irritants. We can chose how we react to irritants.

I am not suggesting ignoring the irritants.  What I try to do is find at least one thing to counteract or substitute for the irritant. For instance ~  It’s hot outside – – – Oh! Look at that  beautiful blue sky. It is a mind game I play with myself and with life.

I am NOT going to allow life to get me down; at least not for long.

When it comes to life and living I am NOT going to be celibate – – –  that is I am not going to abstain from enjoying life totally, completely  and fully no matter what!!!

Since the Universe allowed me to walk again without even the aid of a cane upon this big blue beautiful marble hurling through space I am going to celebrate life every single second, every single day of every single year left to me.

 1 HNY

Celebrate!

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Featured Recipe    Easy Curry Chicken

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The name says it all – quick and easy. You can use left over chicken or even turkey, or roast your own, or better yet, stop by the store on the way home from work and buy one of those already cooked rotisserie chickens so many stores are fond of selling these days.

Best of all, this dish is easy on the budget too.

If you wish, you can cut the chicken into pieces and stir it into the curry sauce and then serve over rice. I seldom do that as I try to eat a high protein diet when ever I can.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

Left over chicken slices or pieces

4 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic

1 medium onion

2 teaspoon curry powder or to taste *

1 teaspoon sugar

Pinch of nutmeg

¼ cup flour

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup chicken broth

Squirt of lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

* Use hot curry if you wish

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Condiments of your choice  ~ Today I am using apples, raisins, and peanuts.

Nuts – peanuts or cashews

Apple

Bananas

Raisins

Coconuts

Chutney

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Here is what you do:

Wash and chop the apple;  squirt with some lemon juice to prevent browning. Crush the peanuts. Remove raisins from box and place in small dish. [NOTE: I do not peel the apple. You can is so desired.]

How To Dice/Chop An Apple

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Press the garlic and finely chop the onion.

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Melt the butter, stirring, in a sauce pan over low heat, and sauté the garlic and onion until golden about 5 minutes.

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Remove butter from the heat and stir in the flour, curry, sugar, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.

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Add the cream and the chicken broth a little bit at a time. Stir until smooth and return to stove over low heat.

Continue to add the liquids a little at a time stirring till smooth after each addition.

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When all of the liquid has been added add the salt and pepper and stir over low heat until sauce bubbles and thickens.

IMG_8194Squirt in the lemon juice and stir.

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Warm the chicken in an oven or microwave.

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Place the chicken on a plate. Pour sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with some of the crushed nuts on top of the chicken. Arrange your other condiments next to the chicken.

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Celebrate!

Bon appétit!!!

Cost

Left over chicken                  $4.99 or nothing if leftovers

4 tablespoons butter             $0.31

1 clove garlic                       $0.05

1 medium onion                   $0.47

2 tsp curry powder               $1.43

1 teaspoon sugar                 $0.24

Pinch of nutmeg                   $0.21

¼ cup flour                         $0.10

1 cup heavy cream               $1.15

1 cup chicken broth              $0.88

Squirt of lemon juice            $0.09

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $9.92
Cost per person = $2.48

Quote of the Day

Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.

Jack Kerouac

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2 comments to Are You Celibate?

  • Happy New Year sweetie! I agree – no time to be celibate. Time to appreciate what we have and what we can do.
    Love the recipe. My mom’s chicken curry is very similar.

  • I can’t decide if I like the recipe better than the story or not. Both are terrific and I so agree about happiness not being a destination – it’s a companion on the journey.

    I’m not going to be celibate in 2014 either! 🙂

    I’m so eager to try this chicken curry. Mine is usually all smooshed together in a pot.