Saturday, 3 May 2008

I Want My Life To Count For Something

"I want my life to count for something. I know that one day it will end. I don’t know when that will be, but when that time comes I want to know that it was a life well spent.

When I land at those pearly gates I don’t want to be standing there perfectly coiffed in beautiful clothes and shiny shoes, with each nail beautifully manicured and every hair in place. I don’t want to arrive in a car that cost a bomb and looks as if it has never been used. I want to look as if I lived and as if I lived well.

I want to arrive in a car that looks like it has taken many a trip and done many a journey. A car that looks as if it has been well used for things like taking that neighbour who needed a lift to someplace they really needed to go, full of crumbs from a group of girls who needed a lift to camp, or dog hairs from having taken the dog to a country park for a nice long walk every week. I want to arrive in a car with heart.

I want to stand there in shoes that are scuffed and worn from having walked many miles in aid of my fellow man. May there be grass stains on them and mud from a journey made in love and caring for my fellow beings.

I want my apron to be smudged with the milk of human kindness and stained with the batter of many cakes baked in the pursuit of serving those around me, my nose dusty with the flour of selfless caring.

I hope that there is dirt under my fingernails because I stopped along the way to help someone weed their garden or to hoe the tough row they had to hoe.

I hope my glasses are smudged with the sticky fingerprints of children that I loved and who loved me back, and that their sticky kisses trail all over my face and make it glow with the peace and comfort of knowing that I made them laugh and that they knew they were loved and that somebody cared.

I hope that my shoulders are damp with the tears of friends who needed a shoulder to lean on and that my knees are dusty from kneeling in the dirt in prayer, for family, or a friend or the world.

I want to look as if I really lived and as if I cared and as if I made this sojourn here count . . . that my life was not in vain or wasted. As if I spent my life on the things that really matter instead of wasting it on the things that, at the end of the day, don't really count.

I want to hear those words . . . “Well done my true and faithful servant.” and know that I earned them every step of the way, and that I deserve to hear them. . . "

For those of you who think you have read this before . . . you would be right. This is a piece that I originally wrote on my Marie's Muses page on the 9th of March. I thought that, since I am not writing there anymore, I would begin to move some of my better pieces that I had written over here on to Oak Cottage. Not every day though, just occasionally, until I have all my best work on here. I hope you don't mind. I don't think it hurts to repeat yourself occasionally . . . it's in the repeating that compelling thoughts really get driven home, don't you think?

OH, and on a really bright note, my daughter Eileen, the Double Gold Special Olympic Medalist has been chosen as the Female Athelete of the Year for Nova Scotia! I am so proud of her and just wanted to share that with y'all! I was speaking to her on the telephone yesterday and she said to me, "Maybe you could come and watch me compete in Idaho next year mom." I said, "I'm working on that baby. If I can possibly be there I will." I reckon I better get painting and selling a lot more of my pieces if I am going to manage that! But, like it says in my sidebar . . . you got to have a dream if you want to have a dream come true!

I have a simple little dessert to share with you this morning. These are really easy to make and oh so very impressive. People will think you slaved away all day, but really, it's only taken a few minutes! Shhhh...we won't tell them! Adapted from a Good Food magazine recipe.

*Chocolate Cream Pots*
Serves 4

These decadent little pots of chocolate and cream are the perfect ending to a special meal. A tip is to use a potato peeler to make shavings from a chocolate bar to sprinkle on the top, or just use crushed chocolate flake bars like I have done here. Also, I don't do alcohol at home for home consumption, unless it is cooked. Instead of the Irish Cream asked for here I used a tsp of vanilla essence in both the cream and in the mascarpone cheese and it works just fine! You can use your imagination and try almond as well, which would be a great combination! Actually these little pots are incredibly versatile. Toasted Almonds are also quite lovely sprinkled on top! If you use almond essence you could also try crushed amaretti biscuits. Yummy!

5 ounces good quality dark chocolate
142 ml carton of whipping cream
5 TBS Irish Cream Liqueur
250g carton mascarpone cheese
Chocolate shavings, chocolate flakes, toasted almonds to decorate (optional)

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so until melted. alternately place the bowl over simmering water (without letting the water touch the bottom of the bowl) Stir until melted. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Don't be tempted to whip it until it is stiff. Soft is much better. Whisk in the liqueur. (Or 1 tsp vanilla) Beat the mascarpone cheese until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour in the melted chocolate and lightly swirl together. You want some ribbons of chocolate running through the mousse.

Spoon lightly into serving dishes and then sprinkle chocolate shavings, nuts or flakes generously on top to serve.


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

If you stand at the pearly gates with one of these little pots in hand, I'm sure you'll be looked upon very favourably!

Peter M said...

St. Peter's & Paul would be best to had out this lush dessert...take me now!

Maryann said...

Your piece kind of reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit :) You have so much talent, Marie! Cooking, drawing, writing.
btw...I like your "blossom" page :)

The Blonde Duck said...

Congradulations to your daughter!

Raquel said...

Congratulations indeed to Eileen!! If I could, Marie, I would pay your way to Idaho. You are such an inspiration and uplift to me! That dessert looks heavenly, may try that when I make my lamb chops next week.

Tracy said...

I remember this post from your Muses...this one was especially lovely and inspiring. I think it's a great idea if you'd like to bring over some of your favorite posts from your old place. :o) Such wonderful news of Eileen...Congratulations to her, and you proud mum! This dessert looks like a taste of heaven--truly! Such a treat to talk to you today, my friend. Happy weekend to you & Todd ((BIG HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Anything worth saying once, surely bears repeating again and I have enjoyed reading them again!! Thank you!

Surely hope you are able to meet up with your daughter in Idaho!! She has done so well!

Karen said...

I read this post yesterday and made these chocolate pots last night for dessert. Delicious!
I used the Irish creme. My Father-in-law asked me to make it again but to use amaretto and amaretti cookies crushed on top. I have some macadamia liqueur that would be good too, with some mac nuts on top.
Thank you for the recipe. It's going to get lots of use!

Allison said...

those Chocolate Cream Pots look divine!

Misty said...

What a beautiful piece you shared this morning. So much to reflect on.

And the chocolate pots.... oh my... they look divine!

Gillie said...

WTG Ellen!! You must be so proud!!!

I want my apron to be smudged with the milk of human kindness and stained with the batter of many cakes baked in the pursuit of serving those around me, my nose dusty with the flour of selfless caring.

I like the imagery of this sentence (and the whole piece as well!).