Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Mantra: Santa vs. Werewolves

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Believe in what makes your heart happy

I'm not quite sure why, but I never believed in Santa when I was little. I never believed in any of the traditional kid favorites, such as the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. I know my family tried to get me in the spirit of believing by sliding money under my pillow when I lost a tooth or making me sit on Santa's lap in the mall and writing him a Christmas Wish List, but none of that worked. In my mind, Real Santa was my family who bought all the presents and Fake Santa was some creepy guy in a rented out costume.

That being said I did, however, believe in some things. Such as werewolves.

I know I've mentioned my fear of wolves (were and otherwise) before, but I've never really explained. As a child I was a little, uh, adventurous. One of my many adventurous type of activities was sneaking out of bed and watching horror movies in the middle of the night. My first flick was Tremors with Kevin Bacon and those giant worm things that took over a small, dusty town. I loved it. I loved every single thing about its awesome 80's thriller antics. After that, I was hooked on horror.

I liked all the scary movies - vampires, zombies, monsters - but my favorites ones were of werewolves. The reason behind that is because those were the only movies that scared me. The rest were thrilling and fun, but not terrifying. I wanted to be terrified. I liked the electricity of fear zipping through me. This was all good and fine until The Werewolf Fear kicked in. Up until that point I had no problems sleeping, I wasn't afraid of the dark, and coyote howls in the night didn't bother me. One night I snuck out of bed to watch a werewolf movie at my grandparents house and I was never the same.

First and foremost it's important to note that I grew up in a small town with forest surrounding everything. I would often see wild animals crossing through my yard at night or hear them rummaging in plants below my window. My grandparents house, in particular, was very secluded and backed up to forest that housed javelinas, coyotes, deer, elk, and the occasional bear. The night I got The Werewolf Fear I was staying at their house. I had crawled out of bed to watch The Howling and positioned myself in a chair that faced a window with a wide open view of the forest. It was pitch black outside, as well as inside, except for the TV and a hall light.

I can clearly recall the scene that scared the daylights out of me and ruined me for the rest of time. In it, a pair of red eyes float down a pitch black staircase of an abandoned building. That was it- red eyes, floating, somewhere you knew a body of a wolf was attached to them. That all by itself terrified me. But at that same moment I looked away from the TV and over to the window and my little heart began to pound furiously. Outside of the window was a pair of orange-red eyes, staring right back at me. I sat there, terrified, for hours. The eyes never moved. Eventually my grandmother came out, saw me, and took me to bed, but those eyes stayed with me in my little mind forever. Years later I was sitting in the same chair, staring out the same window one night when I once again saw them. At first I was startled, but my more mature mind finally took time to process what I was seeing and figured out it was a reflection of part of a grandfather clock that hung on the wall. All those years I was afraid of what lived in that forest and it was only my favorite clock, reflected oddly back at me in the window by the hall light.

It's okay, though. I'm mostly recovered from my own self-inflicted trauma. After everyone making fun of me for my whole entire life, I eventually got over the werewolf thing. I don't go for walks at night in a forest or anything, but I can handle listening to wolves howl in stupid attorney commercials on TV without hiding in the next room. Not that I ever did that or anything. That would be silly. Ha, yeah. Not me...

My point, after this very long story, is that you're going to believe in what you want to believe. Maybe it's Santa, maybe it's werewolves, but no one can make you believe in something you don't want to believe in. So this year believe in something that fuels your fire (and is hopefully happy and not horror like).

Believe in your dreams, your life goals, yourself. Believe that you can achieve whatever you want to in life with just the right amount of energy and time.

All you have to do is believe.

And now, food.

Since I've left you hanging for a while now without any recipes, I thought I should make up for that and share an old family favorite. This creamy cherry pie has been in the family for over three decades. It's rich in flavor and melts in your mouth. It's my moms specialty and while it's not Paleo or dairy free, it is gluten free (as of recently) and still as delicious as it was when it was full of the Big Bad Gluten. Also, it's easy to make. EASY.  So if you're in a bind for something delicious and quick to make this year, this will solve your problem. You're welcome.

Mom's Old Fashioned Cherry Pie
  • 1 can Eagle Brand milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cool whip
  • 1/4 TSP almond extract
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 1 can cherries for pie filling
  • Gluten free graham crackers (individual or pre-made pie crust)

If you're using GF graham crackers and don't have a pie crust handy, crush the graham crackers and make sure you add in some butter (olive oil doesn't work as well in this case) to help form the crust. First start adding the butter to the crackers in a bowl until it beings to stick together, then transfer to a pie plate to form the crust. I needed about 1/2 a stick of butter, but start smaller with 1/4 a stick and work your way up as needed from there.

Mix milk, juice, cool whip, almond, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Pour this mixture into your graham cracker pie crust. Pour the can of cherries on top of that. Finish with cool whip around the edges. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, but the longer the better. I like to make it the night before as the flavors really mix together and it seems to set better over night.

This will be my last post for 2013. I'll "see" you all in the new year!

Merry Christmas and Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate!

Image via themetapicture

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