Friday, December 30, 2016

X IS FOR EXCEEDINGLY, EXCITEDLY EXPECTANT! IS IT TOO MUCH TO HOPE FOR?





I’ve no unexpected expectant news to announce.  As would be expected, I’d expire if that exceedingly weird miracle existed! 

I’m expectantly living in hope; hoping 2017 expands into a far better year than 2016. 
 
Beyond ridiculous, 2016 was excessively marred by excruciating events; mostly caused by the hands of Man.  And, please don't go all "sexist" on me....you know what I mean; and I how mean it without me having to explain....

I’ve two exes. I’m on friendly terms with both my exes.  No “Xs” are ticked off in the boxes beside their names and mine. There’s nothing extraordinary in that. It’s how life should be, in my opinion; and fortunately, for me, it is.   
Through the years, my exes and I have exercised goodwill towards each other; never having reason not to do so. 2016 has been no different.

My first ex and I both spent our childhoods in Gympie.  Coincidentally, he and his family lived in the street behind where I lived. We could see each other’s home from our respective verandahs.  We didn’t need expensive binoculars to spy on each other, not that we had any interest in doing so when we were kids. Mervyn was, and still is, five years older than me.  And when he started working, it was off to Brisbane he went!  My No.1 ex was an ex-Noosa Heads Lifesaver, as was my late brother, Graham.   

Ex, No. 2 Randall and I are in regular contact.  We’re good mates, and I believe it’s excellent that we are.

How the years are rapidly slipping away, but fortunately many friendships remain as the past expands.  Some friendships have exploded through the years, but I guess that is to be expected. Not everything remains the same, nor do some people.  However, there are exceptions to the rule.... this I do sincerely believe.

2016 has been a shit year in so many ways, for far too many people.  It’s been a year overflowing with too much violence; too much hate; too much heartache; too much stupidity; too much short-sightedness, selfishness and envy.

I know I’m not alone in having experienced sadness during the past year.  On the scale, mine is minor to that experienced by thousands of others.  My fluctuations in emotions pale into significance when compared to what many have had to deal with here in Australia, as well as with our kindred beings in other countries throughout our exceedingly mixed-up world.   

Thousands upon thousands were exposed to far greater, unimaginable heartache; to unexplainable losses; too many were/are victims of extreme violence.  

Sadly, and disturbingly, there are no signs the behaviours exhibited are going to cease any time soon, if ever. 

I’m not a religious person, but I think the world needs an exorcism to rid it of the over-riding, wide-spread evil that exists. It’s expanding as rapidly as a pandemic.  An excerptor is desperately needed to do some culling! 

2016 has been an extravaganza of hate; an exhibition of foolishness, violence, avarice and disrespect; sadly lacking decency and dignity.

What is wrong with humans that they are so filled with extraordinary hate, ignorance, stupidity, greed, envy, vindictiveness etc., etc., et al, and more?  

With no exception, they need their heads examined! The problem, of course, is there’s little or no brain matter in there with which to work.  A team of expert excavators could be sent in and they’d still come up empty-handed!

You might think I’m being excessive in my expressions of my thoughts; exchanges upon which, perhaps, I’m expending too much; exposing myself, so to speak. 

However, following due consideration, me, myself and I made an executive decision.

After extracting excessive, redundant cogitation; exercising a little restraint, I might add, I, myself and me decided to make an explosive announcement. 
 
I, me and myself exclaim loudly for everyone to hear –not only on our own home front, but all areas far and wide – “Roll up our sleeves! Let’s expel and expunge negativity from the world!”  

Me, myself and I wish everyone an exceptionally excellent 2017. 

May happiness, good health, peace, positivity and love like manna from Heaven shower down upon all of us.  May humans take pride in themselves and others; may they respect themselves and others....

Let’s exalt our standards of behaviour, thinking, being and caring.
  
It’s time to exhale....Happy New Year! 

Exceptional Egg Salad:  Whisk together 6tbs lemon juice and 2tsp honey; slowly drizzle in 1/2c x-virgin olive oil, whisking constantly; season. Cook 8-10 bacon rashes until golden and crisp; transfer to paper towel to drain and cool; then crumble into bite-size pieces. Preheat oven, 190C. Toss 2c diced sweet potatoes in olive oil; season; roast, 20-25mins; cool briefly. Carefully shave 30 Brussels sprouts with a mandoline; use fingers to separate layers; fluff the sprouts. Toss Brussels sprouts with the other ingredients and the vinaigrette; divide among plates. Shave some Parmigiano Reggiano into shards; place on top of each salad along with a soft-poached egg on each.

Extra Special Pasta Salad: Cook 240g whole-wheat rotini, fusilli or similar pasta as directed; drain; cook; transfer to large serving bowl. Add 1-1/2c small-cut broccoli florets, 1c halved cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 small yellow capsicum, diced, 1/3c sliced pepperoni, quartered, 1/4c diced red onion, 65g pitted black olives, 1/2c crumbled feta and 3tbs chopped parsley. Italian Dressing: slice 1 small tomato in half; rub inside edges (non-peel) against coarse grater over small bowl; grate all tomatoes interior (juices and flesh) into bowl; discard peel. Whisk in 1tbs red wine vinegar, 1tbs Greek yoghurt, 1tbs x-virgin olive oil, 2ts Dijon mustard, 1tsp honey, 1/2tsp minced garlic, 1/4tsp each salt, oregano and dried basil and 1/8th tsp ground black pepper. Pour dressing over pasta; toss gently.

Exemplary Egg & Spinach Salad: In saucepan heat 6tbs olive oil; add 1 thinly-sliced onion; remove from heat; stir in 2tbs white wine vinegar, 2tsp grainy mustard, salt and pepper. In bowl combine 2 trimmed bunches spinach, 240g ham, sliced ¼-inch thick and into small sticks and 6 thinly sliced radishes; drizzle onion mixture over salad; toss; garnish with 6 quartered hard-boiled eggs.

Eggscellent-Quinoa Salad: Rinse 175g quinoa in sieve; place in pan; pour over 40ml vegetable stock; bring to boil; cover and simmer, 20mins or until liquid is absorbed. Drain any excess liquid; return the quinoa to pan; leave it covered for 5mins.  Boil 6 large eggs for 7mins; remove from heat; drain and rinse under cold water; then shell eggs. Cut each into quarters. Blanche 175g broccoli florets for 3mins; drain and rinse under cold running water; drain. Toast 4tbs pumpkin seeds until they start popping; place in serving bowl; add quinoa, broccoli, 4 sliced shallots, green and white parts, 150g halved cherry tomatoes, 3tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley, 3tbs x-olive oil, zest and juice of half lemon, salt and pepper; mix well. Gently stir through the hard-boiled eggs.  

Extreme Egg Avo-Go Salad:  In bowl mash until creamy 2 ripe avocados in bowl with some lemon juice, salt, pepper, curry powder.  Hard boil 4 eggs; peel then dice. Gently fold the eggs into the avocado along with 3tbs diced red onion and 3tbs finely chopped fresh chives.  Re-season with lemon juice, salt and pepper (and curry powder) if necessary. Serve on rocket/arugula and rye bread.Top of Form

Excellent Smoothie: Blend until smooth, 2c honeydew melon, skinned and de-seeded, 1 large, seeded, quartered pear, 1 medium, de-seeded apple; add 4 ice cubes or cold water, as needed/desired.   Whack in a Kiwi fruit or two, too, if you like...a little extra will make it extraordinary extra special!





22 comments:

  1. Yes. The year which is drawing to a close is not going to be missed by many.
    I will happily raise a glass (or two) to any year which does better.
    And hope that our species learns to behave much, much better.

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    1. We can only hope, EC...but I'm afraid I don't have much faith in "our species" as you've so eloquently described them, as changing their old ways and habits.

      Here's raising a glass of good cheer your way. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. you are X-ceedingly talented in your choice of headers, choosing the same red stars image I have on my Sunday post scheduled for tomorrow :)
    It's very pretty isn't it?
    I love the Auld Lang Syne picture you found too.
    I agree there is far too much excessive greed and violence in the world today, hatred and racism too. We can only hope for a better 2017, while improving ourselves as much as we can.

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    1. Hey there, River! I see great minds think alike! :) I loved the banner, too.

      No New Year's Eve partying for me...but I will, no doubt, see the New Year in...I always do.

      Humans really do need to take a good look at themselves...and pick up their act...promptly!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. I wish I began reading your blog earlier and I feel like I have missed rather a lot. That was really nicely written and clearly not dashed off in two minutes. 2016 just does not seem to have been a good year. I may direct my partner to your salad recipes, but lordy, how boring is pasta salad. Happy 2017 :)

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    1. Hey there Andrew. Nice to see you. Pasta salads definitely aren't boring...or, at least, they shouldn't be.

      I hope 2017 treats you and your loved ones kindly. Happy New Year! :)

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  4. Eggcelent recipes to end the year on Lee. I will be trawling for recipes for lunch this coming year. My new school only does tuckshop two days a week, and I just hate making deciding in the morning of what I am going to eat at lunch.
    I trust the New Year will be kind to you Lee. Enjoy the tennis 🎾, tennis 🎾 and more tennis 🎾!

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    1. Howdy Carol! Salads that can be prepared the previous evening and other such lunch foods would be the way for you to go rather than have to fiddle around in the morning before leaving for work. Stuff that! lol

      I wish you all the very best for 2017, too, Carol...and yes...I am looking forward to the tennis...starting tomorrow. And Rafa is playing in Brisbane this year for the first time in the lead up to the Aus Open!!! I love Rafa! :)

      Take care. :)

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  5. Yes, lets exhale the hate of 2016 and be a force in making kindness the more prominent presence in our lives.

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    1. Let's, Arleen. A very Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. :)

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  6. There is always good news. There is always bad news. It all touches our hearts. We laugh or cry and help where we can. But I start each new day and new year with my mother's words that "there is ALWAYS hope."

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    1. Yes, Annie...there is always hope, my hope is we never lose it. How wonderful it would be, though, if there always good actions and behaviours, too. Unfortunately, that will never be.

      I hope 2017 treats you and yours kindly. Take good care. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. happy new year; I am always looking for ways to use quinoa, and you are right in step with avocado on toast, been seeing it everywhere.

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    1. Hi Linda...here where I live avocado trees grow in abundance, and on this property alone thee are about 10 or 12 trees. I regularly eat a lot of avocados... squashed on toast; made into guacamole for spreading on toast or with corn chips and in salads.

      Many properties sell avos from their roadside stalls at very reasonable prices.

      A Happy 2017 to you and your family. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. I see 2016 as no worse than any other year, and a great many were far worse.
    it is just the news the media give us that make it appear worse than at other times.
    Shock sells, good things don't.

    I hope your personal year is an exceeding good one and that many good thinsg fall into your lap! Happy new year to you!

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    1. May all the good in life lands on your lap, too, Mr. Ad-Man. I hope 2017 treats you kindly and fairly. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. Heartily agree with you, yourself and you, Lee, about the coming year! And thank you yet again for a terrific looking recipe, that egg salad looks yummy even though I am in fact ill with flu right now and don't want to eat anything. So it must be VERY yummy indeed to make my eyes light up like that. :) Another one for the recipe file here.

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    1. G'day, Jenny. I'm sorry to hear you're not well. Perhaps forget the egg salad....bowls and bowls of hot chicken soup might be the thing to help make you feel better. I hope 2017 starts looking up for you soon; that's not a good way to start it!

      Happy New Year to you...take care. :)

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  10. That's so very true what you have written. Often read your blog whilst the nails are drying!/if I haven't had them done professionally.
    Happy New Year and may it be a good one for you.

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    1. Hey there, Margaret. It is raining heavily at present...so I'm happy! Hopefully, it will cool things down a bit...it's been too damn hot these past few days.

      Happy New Year to you and yours, too...I wish you all the very best. :)

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  11. I live underneath the most negative neighbor in the world at the condos, I think, and the above the stinkiest neighbor in the world (maybe). Thank you for the reminder to be positive - I do love to look for the good things always and needed a boost to remember. (Can you tell there have been neighbor troubles the last few days? They are at odds with each other.) Sigh.

    And now I want something delicious and eggy for breakfast. Cheese omelet with sausage on the side.

    Thanks, Lee! Hugs.

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    1. Oh, dear, Lynn. I don't envy you at all re the neighbours.

      And people wonder why I prefer the reclusive existence that I've chosen to adopt! Some probably think I'm weird for doing so...but that's okay, I don't mind being weird...it comes naturally! So I don't have to put on any pretenses! :)

      As I've said previously in posts, I don't have any neighbours nearby, up close and personal. And I hope the status quo remains. My nearest are my landlords who live up at the other end of this property...and with the nice lot of trees and shrubs in between I can't see their home or them. I keep to myself...and have become over the years more adept at dodging than the Artful Dodger! :)

      People are enough to drive the most sane person crazy!

      It's difficult to be positive all the time. I know I'm not, even though I do try to look "on the bright side of life", but it's not always possible. But I try never to lose my sense of humour; if and when I am feeling blue...I keep it to myself and put on a happy front to those in the outer world.

      What gets me really riled is when some people try to push the "positive" down your throat all the time, regardless - not considering the feelings or another; and they usually do it when you're feeling like shit! Those times is then I do my utmost not to tell them where they can put their "positive"....where the sun don't shine! lol

      Now that cheese omelette sounds delicious! I might just have to join you! Thanks for coming by. :)

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