Monday, January 27, 2020

Pondering January . . .

Can you believe that January is almost over?  Five more days and we'll be fluttering around in red  hearts, sugar cookies and chocolate. In my part of the world, it will be slushy snow, and hopefully more beautiful sunsets. 

How have you done with your goals, your word or your mantra for the year?  My word this year is, Focus, and I have been trying really hard to focus on the good things life has to offer, the little things and the big things, the things that I need to change, the things I can't change, and the things that I need to focus on less.
One thing that I'm focusing less on is FB, and social media in general.  I've weeded out my blog list and only spend 10-20 minutes a day on FB and Instagram.  I literally set a timer, and when it rings, I finish what I'm doing and close my screen.  I have taken FB off my phone, so it's not even a temptation.  It feels wonderful to be un-tethered to social media, although I've had a few people question me about it and even get a little indignant when I tell that that I am spending less time online, specifically FB, like it's a personal jab at our friendship.  My time is my time, period and I spend it doing what I feel is important.  I do agree that it's a great space to stay in contact with friends and relatives who don't live close, or that you don't see very often...that said,  I will always question the reality of what I read, and much of what is posted is advertising and political garbage, which I don't buy into.   I guess one could say that about blogging as well.  How much of the blogging world is reality and how much is what we want the world think...I don't know the answer to that.  I do know that with me, what you see is what you get.

If you will indulge me for one minute . . . One of the posts I always check out on FB, is my daughter's FB page, Amber Empey Williams, and on Instagram, she is, the.blonde.leading.the.blind.  She has dedicated most of her posts to those who are dealing with children who have disabilities.  She focuses most of her posts on her daughter, Averi, and the trials and amazing things that happen in their home on a daily basis with Averi's disability - she's blind.  All are entertaining and funny, some are sad but all of them are real.  She's gotten really good feed back, touched many lives, made some good friends, and has met some really awesome people through that group.  So, I'm not totally opposed to FB, there are really good things that come from it.   My personal feeling is that blogging is more of a journal for most people, therefore, people are going to put more truth into their blog than they do on FB.   Just my thoughts, I still love all of you who love FB and post on a regular basis, it's just not for me.

It's been an interesting January, leaving behind social media and focusing on things that I intentionally make time for.  I was truly shocked how much time I spent on absentminded scrolling.

A few things I have filled my time with...

I made new curtains for my kitchen!  I've had this fabric for almost a year...a year!  With my new found time, I made the curtains, and I love them.  I also made a birthday cake for my daughter-in-law (see how I snuck that cake in the picture ;0) ).   Banana cake with cream cheese frosting, it's really delicious, I'll share the recipe with you. 

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-2/3 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 cups mashed banana (I use frozen bananas)
2 eggs
2/3 cup shortening or butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Sift together dry ingredients.  Add shortening, bananas, buttermilk and eggs.  Beat 2 minutes and fold in nuts.  Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans or a 9x13 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 lb. butter (1 stick)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a pinch or two of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbls. cream or milk (you may or may not need this)

Combine all ingredients to spreading consistency.  Spread over cake.

I hope you are enjoying this time of the year and taking time to focus on the things that truly matter in your life!

Be safe!  XOXOX

Hugs and Love,


Deb said...

I salute you for limiting time on FB. FB can be a very time draining activity. I may follow your lead and take it off my phone. My daughter got off facebook because it was a factor in her depression, and I have noticed that sometimes it has that effect on me as well. I do have friends I like to stay in touch with on FB, but maybe it is time to think about being INTENTIONAL (my word for the year, about focusing on other things. I love your curtains, and that cake looks delicious. Have a good week.

Vee said...

Would you just cut me a slice, a big slice, of that yummy sounding cake? 😊 Time is of the essence so I agree that when we discover time wasters, we need to decide what is best. I have cut way back on all of it. That said, I do love Blogdom, specifically, those blogs without advertising.

Just Ramblin' said...

I admire you for eliminating FB. I took a break from it awhile back, but sadly I am back. When I first added FB it was to keep up with extended family members and friends. But it has taken a turn as you said and I get tired of all the ads, supposedly news feeds, etc. Some days it seems I hardly see anything from family and friends. I love your curtains. They are so bright and cheerful and the cake looks so yummy. I bet she loved it! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Marie Rayner said...

I love your kitchen Barb! I wish I had a lovely big kitchen like that with a window I could see out of when I wash the dishes. I also wish I could come off FB but it is literally the ONLY way I can be in touch with some of my kids. And I say in touch loosely as there is no contact, but I can at least see what they are up to from their infequent posts. Were it not for that I wouldn't have a clue. You are so blessed to have a good relationship with your kids and grandchildren. I do love to read blogs, but hate how intrusive the ads are on some of them and I simply don't bother to read those ones anymore. IG is my guilty pleasure these days. I do find myself scrolling down it more than I would like to be. Your curtains turned out lovely and that cake is beautiful. I would love a piece! Yum yum! xoxo

Sue said...

What an awesome post, Barb,I agree with all you have shared, I am on instagram and Facebook, but rarely use either, blogging is where I do most of my posting, it is so much more intimate, and truthful! I have connected with and made so many wonderful friends here in blogland, you being one!

Your word for the new year is a great one, I adore your new curtains, my plans are to be more creative this year, the cake looks luscious, I have copied another great recipe of yours, the chili recipe is still on the top of my list, but as you can imagine it has been a whirlwind around here, ~smile~
I think it is so awesome that your daughter is touching so many people with her instagram posts, we need more of this on social media rather than all the drama that is put out there.
I am happy that you blog, your posts are always so encouraging. Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts when you visit, and your friendship.

Barb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs R said...

Barb, focus is an excellent word for the year. I agree that spending less time online is a wonderful idea. Good for you! Your curtains are so cheery and that cake - oh my goodness! Thank you for including the recipe. I've a question - if you do add milk, do you need to refrigerate the cake? xo

Saimi said...

Good for you Barb, Focus is a great way to start the new year. You know I've never been much of a FB person so I don't spend much time on it. My go to social media is Instagram. It's quick and not political. But true confessions ever since I got my Dixie girl I opened up an account just for her so I can be connected to other people who have Friesians and just horses in general. That my friend has been my addiction. I hardly look at my personal Instagram, never really go to FB but man i'm on Dixie's page all the time. I gotta FOCUS and set a timer. I also want to concentrate on the Come Follow Me. Have you heard of Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler? Together they do a video study each week called 'Don't miss this Study' They are so fun and have a great way of breaking down the lesson and explaining it. You should check them out if you haven't already.
I love that you were a 70's child and I enjoy your blog!
Happy February!

Terra said...

Yummy looking cake and pretty curtains that you made. Your time is your choice, good for you.

LeAnn said...

Oh, that cake looks yummy and I love that you shared your recipe. I love your curtains. We really need some in our kitchen. I wish I was good at sewing.
It is amazing how fast January went. I can't keep up with it all. I love your word for the year focus. I haven't done a word for a while, but I should. I think that is the best of words.
You are inspiring me with you drop back in media. I have been doing the same. I mainly just read about 20 posts and that's it. I wonder how much time that makes. I like the idea of setting an alarm. I can waste time for sure just scrolling a way.
I like blogging best and hope to get back at it more. I do love and have deeply missed your posts. You are such a wonderful friend and I love your writings.
Love and hugs for you two!