A DAB will do it.

In the ever present pursuit of improving myself (Doug 2.0 I like to call it), I have decided to improve my cooking skills.  Up ’til now I have been comfortable with my two signature dishes: homemade mac ‘n’ cheese and pancakes from scratch.  However, I made one of those noble sacrifices we men occasionally make–I watched a chick-flick with my wife.  It was about Julia Child living in France and how she came to write her first book.  It was also about this lady who blogged about cooking through the entire Julia Child book. Since it was about writing and eating (two of my all time favorite things to do) I have to say that it was a pretty good movie.  I loved how everyone in the movie kept cramming food in their faces, not just taking polite little bites like people in movies usually do.

My wife became inspired to try new dishes now that we are in a house in a new state.  She’s very organized, my wife, and she is a really good cook.  I actually gained fifty pounds during the first ten years of our marriage (which I have since lost thanks to a healthier life-style change we both switched to).  So I went down to our new library and got her a copy of Julia Child’s classic cookbook and we started working through some of the recipes.  We even made a souffle–the first one I ever ate!

Now we’ve switched to a slightly similar project we call DAB.  It stands for: Doug, April, and Betty.  We are pouring through the Betty Crocker book we got for a wedding present and are opening our world up to all sorts of new recipes, altering some and chiseling others into the tablets of our family recipes book.

Improving yourself can happen in different ways from learning a musical instrument to becoming an expert in a subject, or just learning how to do something better.  Staying the same may be appealing to some, but as we age we should get better (like cheese).  Keep growing, and drifting in a positive direction.

Drifting Back

I suppose it’s ironic to have a blog about being focused and then to leave your blog idle…for almost two months.  It was definitely not my plan.  However, not to offer an excuse, I was living focused out in the real world.  My old job decided to send me packing over training they refused to provide me, then evaluated me on so I decided to drift into a new way of thinking.

My wife and I home-school our four kids, so I realized that we don’t need to stay in New Jersey; we could go anywhere in the world!  Suddenly, with the world at my fingertips and a planet full of possibilities a bad situation turned into an exciting one.  On July 1st my job search went outside the Garden state covering the continent from East to West, and even overseas a bit.

The last time I did this was in 2002, but that was a county to county move.  This time it was going to change our whole life!  Just like in 2002 my wife and I began to pray, submitting ourselves to the Lord’s will.  Since he’s omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient–who knows better than him?

He came through in 2002 and again in 2014.  He landed a job at a small school in North Carolina, which is by far the best school district I’ve worked in since I began teaching in 1998.

So here we are, transplants from NJ to NC with a new life and a new world of possibilities.  Staying in NJ had its benefits, like being close to family in friends, it was (frankly) the safe move.  Sometimes we need to stretch and challenge ourselves to reach our full potential.  Stretching ourselves can stress us out when we handle it ourselves; the key to not being the guy (or gal) running around in circles freaking out is to have a good support system, weigh your options carefully before choosing, and above all have faith in The One who’s been around longer than anyone and has it all figured out.