No punishment here!

This week, I’ve been thinking about something my Dad would say when he was frustrated–“No good deed goes unpunished!”

I can’t blame him. I’ve felt this exact sentiment many times. This week in particular, I was involved in a situation where some people just DIDN’T ACT RIGHT.


That’s what I wanted to yell. I complained about the situation too much. I let my heartbeat race. I furrowed my brow (which is really bad, because suddenly, my 40-year-old face tells on me from all that furrowing of days gone by). I got mad.

I flung all kinds of useless judgement around:

They should KNOW better.

I can’t believe how UNGRATEFUL!


Can’t they see that they’re just WRONG?!

All that angry energy…

Didn’t. Change. One. Thing.

At least not about the situation. It just changed me. In a bad way. This got me to thinking. Why am I punishing myself for someone else’s bad choices? Silly, really. So I decided to do something else.

Just in time, a sweet friend of mine hinted (and by hinted, I mean asked outright in writing and by voicemail :)) for a pie for her birthday. I was very excited to get the request. This person is the kind of gal you just wanna do nice things for, so I did. I made her a Coffee Chocolate Pie with Orange Meringue.

Now, I know I just made that pie the other day AND I seem hooked on that orange meringue. I can’t help it. Besides, the last time that pie was available, my friend got there too late for her slice–it was all gone! Plus, the pie is so dang good.

So this good deed–baking a sweet birthday pie for my sweet friend–definitely goes unpunished. On the contrary, it’s a reward! When someone asks me to bake them a pie, they think it’s a present for them, but really, it’s a gift for me. Gives me time to think and reminds me of this:

Even when lots of things seem to be going wrong, you can always, always, always, find something going right.

Never thought I’d get so much joy and peace from stirring stuff up, making a mess, and sticking a pie plate in the oven.

So thanks, my friend, for having a birthday. Thanks for being you, and thanks for the gift of your friendship!


For the Cog in the Wheel

I found this old cookbook in my kitchen cabinet. It was published in the late 1930’s, obviously by some sorority. I’m not sure who gave it to me, but I love a retro cookbook. The way the recipes are written really tells a story about the times. Take today’s recipe for Chocolate Pie. Thanks to Dorothy of Ohio, it was a thorough ingredients list. The only question I had was this: What do you mean by beaten egg whites? Beaten for a little while? Beaten to a pulp? Beaten until frothy? Creamy? Stiff peaks? Apparently, all women in 1939 knew everything there was to know about egg whites. Hmmm.

SPECIFICS, Dorothy! Please!

I just interpreted it as “for a little while.” It seemed to work OK, although folding it in didn’t turn out exactly like I’d expected. I am also very curious about the cinnamon. I’ve never used it in a chocolate pie, but I’m counting on Dorothy to come through with something delicious.

Today has really been a day of wishing for specifics. We’ve got a few things up in the air around here, and it sure would be nice if a very specific “recipe” would fall out of the sky to tell us what to do. We’ve had some crazy weather for a southern winter, but so far, no life recipes. Oh well….

We’ll just have to wing it. I guess in life, you just follow whatever directions you have and then hope for the best. If something flops, you just try something else. What more can you do?

As a planner, list maker, and control freak, this part of life ticks me off. I just wanna know what’s gonna happen.

Well, tough.

So on this what-the-heck-is-going-on-in-the-world kind of day, I made a pie for someone who always knows what’s going on–or at least is awesome at making the rest of us believe she does. She’s the cog in the wheel. You probably know someone like her. The Help Desk. The Answer Station. The One Who Knows What To Do. The One We’re Lost Without. The You-Have-No-Idea-How-Much-This-Person-Does-Around-Here lady. And I appreciate all that she does.

Earlier this week, this wonderful cog friend of mine threw out this wonderful question,

“Whose butt do we have to kiss to get a pie around here?”

Now, you might find that a little direct, but I find it stupendous. If you want something, just say so! She did. She’s a woman who’s always doing what others need, so I was thrilled to hear her ask for something she wanted.

Therefore, a chocolate pie is coming her way tomorrow morning. It came out looking pretty tasty. The good news for me is, if it’s not good, I blame Dorothy. SPECIFICS, PLEASE!