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Life: the journey you make for yourself

Tina Specht

For the last couple of weeks I can’t stop thinking about certain things.  You really don’t want to be in my mind, because there are normally 1,000 things going on at once.

For the past several days, I have been going over goals and what I want to do in life for the next 50 years. What keeps coming to mind is, “Be true to yourself.  Put yourself first.  Take care of yourself and then you can take care of others.  Work hard for all that you want.  If you don’t do it who will?”

I was taught early in life to work hard. If you want something done, do it yourself and you know it will get done. You’re not going to make it in life riding on someone else shirt tail.  

Set goals before you, both short-term and long-term goals. In my book, you will never arrive until you leave this earth.  You should always strive to do something more. Never settle for where you are now.  

I have learned a few things in the last couple of years that has me thinking and planning all the time.  Life’s a journey and how you make it determines how and where you go.  

I am at a time in my life where I feel there are no limits.  Dream big and go after it.  Do you have to work for it?  Yes you do.  But, when you work hard and dreams come to pass, you will enjoy the accomplishment so much more than if someone just handed it to you.  

I don’t think people respect things as much when they are just handed to them.  They don’t take care of things until they have to put their own sweat and money into getting it.

I think in this day and age, we need to teach our kids how to work.  My kids have been working during the summer doing something since they were 10 years old.

I didn’t let them lay up in the bed, and it didn’t ruin them. My kids had to do chores around the house also.   When both parents work, help is needed around the house.  They are hard workers today because of it.  

We also need to teach our kids, and ourselves, to be true to ourselves.  You be your own cheerleader and set your own goals and dreams.  Write them down so you can see them.  No one owes you anything in life.  It is up to you do make your life the best it can be.

If you had a not-so-great upbringing, it is still your choice once you become an adult to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and make something great of your life.  You can continue to live in your past, or decide you are going to make a change for the better.  

Get into a positive atmosphere.  Hang out with people who dare to dream and dream big — the people that want something out of life and are not afraid to go after it.  

If you fail, just know the experience is a learning tool, not failure.  Not all things work out the first time.  That is why we set goals and reach for the stars.  

One more thing, enjoy the journey along the way.  Do things because you love them.  This makes life much easier.  Work hard for what you want. If what you are working towards doesn’t make you happy, then change what you are doing.

LEMON COCONUT OEEY GOOEY BARS

 Lemon Coconut Gooey Butter Bars is made of Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Bars. If you love that recipe, you will love these bars.

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

1 1lb. Yellow Cake Mix

1 egg

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. coconut extract

½ c. lemon juice (fresh)

2 c. powdered sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

TOPPING

½ c. sweetened coconut

½ c. brown sugar

½ c. sugar

4 tbsp. butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and spray a 9X13 rectangular pan with baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, pour in the cake mix, add the egg, and the melted butter and stir together with a wooden spoon. Once well mixed, pat into the bottom of the 9X13 rectangular pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese until smooth and add in the eggs one at a time creaming into the cream cheese after adding into the bowl. Add the vanilla and coconut extract, lemon juice, powdered sugar, and melted butter. Pour the filling on top of the cake mix.

For the topping: Mix in the brown and white sugar, sweetened coconut, and stir in the butter. Add the flour to the mix and stir. The topping will become very crumbly. Turn to wax or parchment paper and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes so the crumbs can dry out a bit. Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the filling ( I didn’t use all the crumbs for my personal taste). Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center won’t be as gooey. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

Tina Specht is co-publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. She shares her thoughts and recipes each Thursday.