Value in Every Way We Are

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Been a whirlwind of a transition from spring into summer and we’re not there yet but almost with the heat index predicted to hit 100 shortly. I’ve been flying around like a dervish getting things in order for my Big Garage Sale next week — three days of pure joy sitting in lawn chairs with friends and meeting new people — and of course in the midst of cooking and sorting and cleaning and gathering I went and whacked my head on a kitchen cupboard and suffered what felt to me like a solid and real concussion. It wasn’t a bump, people. I was bending over, digging out the muffin tin for some blueberry muffins for dinner and the oven buzzer went off and the phone rang and up I went, and slam! Head met corner of cupboard door. Bolt of lightning. I went down. And cried like a child who fell off the monkey bars.

I’ve always aspired to a kind of graceful I find, at last, impossible for me. I’m clumsy, and that’s the fact of it. Mr. S says my spirit animal must be a Jesus lizard — you know, those lizards that go running haphazardly over water surface, kind of all crazy-looking and wild — and he may be right. I always wanted my spirit animal — if such things there be — to be a wild horse or a strong bird, but Jesus lizard is feeling more and more like what it is.

But because I’m a fan of the bright side, I have always considered my clumsy nature as more evidence of a mind full up with thought and lots of it, and therefore I tend to injure myself because I’m giving my energy to things other than where my head is in relation to an open cabinet or where my feet land on a flight of stairs. My mind is a busy place. I have things to consider, mull over, discern. It’s not a flaw, but rather a gift, and I accept it fully and lift it up entirely and in the process often whack my head on whatever is in my way. I may never be graceful, but I have good ideas and if a Jesus lizard tearing across a pond is a spiritual thing for me, well, so be it.

You can beat yourself up, you know. Tear yourself down for the ways you are human, and apologize til the cows come home for your shortcomings and frailties and flaws. Or. You can see the other side of it, because there always is one. If you’re stubborn, you’re really persistent. If you’re lazy, you’re really able to relax and enjoy a stretch of hours. If you are a perfectionist, well, you aspire to rightness. If you are a procrastinator? You give yourself time to ponder a thing. And if you’re a mean, nasty person, well, I would say the good of that is you’re giving us all a fine example of how not to be. And there’s value in that. There’s value in every way we are, if you think about it. Just watch out for the open cupboards.

Here’s one for a hot day on the patio, lazy afternoon, served up with a fruity drink or some iced tea with mint.

Creamy Barbecue Chicken Dip

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
¾ cup Korean spicy BBQ sauce, divided
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1¼ cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
5 to 6 green onions, chopped
1 red chili, seeded and sliced
Toasted bread for dipping

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Marinate chicken breast in ¼ cup of Korean spicy BBQ sauce for 10 to 20 minutes, and grill or pan-fry marinated chicken until fully cooked, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Let cool a bit.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup pepper jack cheese, remaining Korean spicy BBQ sauce and green onion in a large mixing bowl. Stir until everything is well mixed and set aside.

Chop chicken into bite-size pieces. Add chopped chicken into cheese mixture; mix well.

Pour chicken dip into 6×8-inch baking dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle remaining pepper jack cheese on top. Place baking dish on a baking sheet in case dip boils over. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken dip is bubbling and cheese is melted and golden. Garnish with chopped green onion and red chili. Serve warm with toasted bread.


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