Archive | June, 2015

Work? What’s That?

23 Jun

Being raised by a single mother, it was ingrained in me as a child that things don’t get done and they don’t get done right unless you do it yourself. You cannot depend on others to get things done when you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself. Take pride in your work.

My mother had anywhere from 2-4 jobs at a time, and our first role models are our parents. Seeing this, I knew that I needed to work. When I was maybe 11 or 12, I started my own business with my friend of walking dogs. We took $2 for each walk that took maybe a half hour. We didn’t get many jobs, but we had some regulars… and by that, I mean one. But hey, we tried. I babysat since I was 11 or 12 and got a real job when I was 14. Of course it was a cash paid job and it really sucked. I washed dishes for a restaurant and I worked really really hard. My life as a worker bee had started and there was no turning back.

I think people might be surprised at the amount of work I did when I was in my younger years. I sometimes had 2 jobs at a time. Now, I own a business and I still work hard, harder than I have ever worked. This is harder than shoveling corn, and that is really hard and hot work.

I know what the reward of hard work is, and it isn’ t money. It is the fact that I know I am an honest and hardworking person with great work ethic and a drive. I am strong. I hire people to bake, to work, do dishes, clean, take orders, decorate etc. and they have great intentions and I take my time training people for it to totally fail. The food industry is where people come because they think that it is easy, and they quickly find out that it is not. It is a good way to weed out the people with a passion for what they do and people that want a ride. So far, I have given a lot of people a piggy back, but nobody is getting a ride! I can’t really understand people who don’t care about anything or anyone they work for. We all have to work, I get that and we all cannot do what we love, but what about doing a job well and taking pride in work?

The meaning of work ethic is: The principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward.

You work hard, it pays off. End of story.

How did this happen that we became a society of lazy people? Now, I don’t want you to get offended. I am not meaning everyone in the general public, but a lot of them.

Lack of effort and a sense of entitlement drives me up the wall. This, is why my kids have chores! Ha Ha Ha!

Anyway, Thanks for reading!

END OF RANT

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What’s At the Bottom of the Cake?

8 Jun

Flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla…… etc, are the ingredients we need to bake a cake. Bake at 350 F until the middle bounces back. Take it out and let it cool. Frost and serve. There we have it! A freshly baked cake to serve and enjoy!

That is how I did it when I was younger. I didn’t even take the cake out of the pan, we just cut and served from the pan it was baked in! I used to bake a cake every now and then for my mom. She worked a lot, and I would come home from school and bake a cake for when she got home! I always felt like I had done something really good when I baked! I had achieved something that was recognized…..something I did really well.baking

When I got older, I would get together with my cousin on a day in December and we would do all of our Christmas baking, we would split everything and put it in containers and freeze until we needed them. I loved doing this. Baking with the people you love, for the people you love. There is not much better than that! My cousin and I would remind each other of our grandma while we were baking. Just talking to her, with her kids around and the smell of baking, it just felt right! I long for those times again!

Life goes on, things change, people change and now I bake alone for the bakery, but I bake with my children at home. As soon as I put on my apron, there is one of them grabbing their apron and wanting to pour the ingredients in and stir, which turns into licking the spoon afterwards! I love this! My little guys in a little apron ready to get their hands in it! It teaches them so much too! Math, first!bake All the measurements, it can be challenging for a 5 year old! And learning to follow a recipe. My boys are going to be a great catch when they are older! They will know how to cook and bake and do laundry, and put clothes away!  Anyways, you know, when you bake with the little ones, the end result tastes much better! And they have a sense of pride in what they made! Instead of the self gratifying video games, they have something physical in their hands that they can taste and tell others that they made it!

At the bakery I find the pride in everything. Having a great tasting cake, first and foremost. Then the design. Not one is the same, I try to strive at that. Some people want what I have made before, exactly though, so, we do that too. But for me, the best thing that I enjoy and find gratitude in is sculpting cakes. I love to have a cake, a knife and some frosting. Cutting and sculpting the cake into something is a great joy for me! I made a cake once look like a sea turtle, and I loved every minute of it! Finding out how to get it to look like what I want it to, deciding on how to cut it and mold it into something new. This, is where I shine!

There is a lot involved in baking and it is not all skill. A lot of it is passion and love. When you love doing something, it seems that you do it so much  better! For me, it reminds me of my family. The joyous times when we are all together and Aunt Linda makes her glorious carrot cake with a ton of cream cheese frosting on it, and when my mom makes her buttertarts with a pastry so light and flaky and the sugary goodness inside drips down your chin when you take a bite! I granremember Grandma, in the kitchen making pies and other goodies! Even when she got to be pretty on in age, she would make her own applesauce! I also remember my mother in law, hands in the bowl, fingers full of dough, in her 80’s, making the quick breads that everyone loved, and the orange shortbread!

You know, I have not come across a single person that does not have a good memory with baking, unless they weren’t around it. But everyone has a memory or a feeling about baking, or even the smell.

I know that I run a business and it is a professional work environment, but for me, it’s an extension of my home, my family, my memories. That is what is at the bottom of the cake that I make!

Which Road To Paradise?

3 Jun

We all make our own paths in life. We pave the way ourselves and choose different directions to go that lead us to where we are at this moment. I do not believe in regret, and even though, not every  decision I have made was the best one, in the end, it was the best one for me at the moment. Clarity, as we all know, comes after the fact. I know I am not alone in this! Now, since I have been trying to write a book of my life, I have had to do some digging into my memories and kicking up dust around those that I have tried to forget. This, is very therapeutic. When I rehash these moments, I cringe, but when I write them down, it is a way of letting them go and seeing it new. I can actually think about the person (me) who things have happened to and see it a new way. I always felt like the victim, the one who was always the one who got hurt or abused in numerous different ways, but now…. I see the strength in it. I see the patterns my life has taken and the reasons I have been drawn to certain people during my lifetime. I did break that chain years ago….and once I saw the other side….well….there was no stopping me. I will take happiness every time now! I am done with doing what others think that I should do. I am finished with keeping up appearances, it is now old hat for me to conform with others, to do what is expected. I am a 37 year old mother of two, a wife and a business owner, a daughter, a friend and an aunt, I choose HAPPINESS.

I often thought in my earlier years of my past choices and always thought ‘ what was I thinking?’. And, yes, alot of that is true! I mean, I was engaged 3 times for Pete’s sake! 3! Man oh man, when I think about what my mother thought every time I told her I was engaged…. geez! Talk about putting her on a roller coaster! But I often thought that if I had made a different decision that things would have turned out so much better. That I would have gone to University and became a true Graphic Artist/Designer, that I would have gotten a job that paid an ungodly amount of money and that I would have a huge house and a perfect family.

Now that I think about it…. I don’t want that at all, and I don’t know if I ever did. I remember  thinking about how old I would be in the year 2000. I would be 23 and what would I look like and would I have a boyfriend? Would I be married? It’s funny that when I was 13 all I could dream about was getting married and having children! That’s where my paradise is! Well, I have hit it! I have my loving husband, I have 2 beautiful children and I have both parents still (thank heaven!). Now, I have to think about the things that are causing me stress and anxiety. That, would be the business. I love what I do, I love making people happy and I love baking. I do not, however, love stress! The business end of things is really wearing on my mind, which turns into stress in the body! I need to find a path that will make me happier. Maybe that means hiring a book keeper! Ha ha!

In any case, my road that I have taken, has lead me to my own perfect paradise that I had dreams about when I was a teenager. Where is your paradise? Money is never the answer, I have found. There are statistics that show the happiest people in the world are those who don’t have much money. They find pleasure in simple things, like rain and a dinner with the family, or going to school. Happiness is relative too I believe. Maybe we should all just take a step back and see the truth to our unhappiness. It isn’t the new iPhone that makes us happy, or the new SUV we just bought. Those things can leave you empty. How about the people around you, or the times where you can appreciate nature and just being healthy and alive, or the children you have, or the pets you love.

You might want to take the trip to paradise, but you have to find what your own personal paradise is.

Man, I sound like a self help book! Geez!

Anyways, don’t regret! I am trying really hard to not worry about things that I cannot change. There you have it! Ha ha!