What would I do with $155 million?


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Have you ever realized that your whole world can change with your mindset? The glass half empty or the glass half full is the best analogy for this age old saga of the pursuit of happiness. I am finding myself drawn to people more these days who could care less about keeping count of rights and wrongs, material possessions, those who are able to just laugh and move on. That said, let’s move on.

In my pursuit of happiness I had a brain storm as I drove back from New Orleans a week ago with my newly purchased Power Ball ticket.

What if I had the winning ticket? At the current jackpot at $300 million, that would be a payout of $239 million according to the ticket. Then there would be taxes which would take about 35 percent – so my brain was calculating… ummm, that would be about $155 million dollars and what would I do with that?

I thought, “If you told one soul, your relationship with that person would probably change.” I like my life and Lord help, I don’t need any problems. I am not a fan of change.

So what would I do with that much money? I being a spiritual person then had a realization that if I won, it would be God assigning me a duty to do good in the world. Surely He would find someone smarter, but I once saw that HGTV show where lottery winners were searching for their dream home. Well, let’s just say there was room for growth on an intellectual level. They were all about buying boats, cars and flashy houses. God has a funny way of working though, so probably more depth than the show allowed.

So what if I actually won? I won’t lie, thoughts of living in a Tuscan villa in Italy with a small vineyard did enter my mind, but would there be anyone else in my life’s dream? I don’t like to be alone. Do you have to visa to live in Italy? How much are the taxes? Could I take my dogs? Too many issues and questions and that would not be for anyone but myself.

So I pondered. There are people starving in the world, there are real issues that I have no idea how to fix. So many thoughts came to mind. Didn’t Bill and Melinda Gates set up some foundation to do good in the world? What are they doing? I had just read an article of a Harvard graduate raising money for fresh water wells in Africa. Dolly Parton has been fighting illiteracy in Tennessee for years giving away millions of books with her Imagination Library. Bethanny Frankel, the NY Housewife reality star who became rich with her Skinny Girl cocktail drink like just recently pre-empted most government agencies and set up an organization, BStrong, to give away hygiene kits, blankets, generators and sleeping bags to Ukrainian refugees. Ughh, what would I do with that much money?

So if I could get anything I wanted what would that list entail? My car is fairly new and I could not care less about a car. If a donkey and cart was a feasible option, that is what I would use, and the donkey would wear one of these hats with flowers like the horses that are lined up at Jackson Square in the French Quarter to pull the carriages of tourists. It would have a great name like Hortense or Lulu. So scratch that. My house is a work in progress that I am enjoying, and with every little improvement, I fall more in love with it and packing to move is the worst thing in the world, so scratch that.

My husband buys me more jewelry than I can ever wear, so scratch that. So I brainstormed, if I could have anything I ever wanted that money could buy, I would want a huge delivery of pine straw to make my yard look fabulous, all fluffy straw from long leaf pines in the rich clay color of fresh straw. I would want a sound system put in my house with speakers inside and out hooked to satellite radio, where the Frank Sinatra channel will drift through the house all dreamy on summer nights. I’d want hydrangeas, and an occasional trip, good books, wine and laughter is what I thought to myself as I drove on through Mississippi in a daze, where your mind wanders and you forget miles as you drive. “I’ve already won the lottery,” I whispered to myself, as I realized I had most of these things and could already afford the remainder. That little ticket ended up matching three numbers and winning me seven dollars, but made me a winner long before the drawing. It’s just how you look at things I guess, and my glass is half full and I bet yours is too.

The name of this recipe is Las Vegas Chicken but I made it for my anniversary for years so I guess I renamed it. The dried beef and the bacon season and salt the chicken. You can substitute chicken tenderloins and cut down the cooking time.

Anniversary Chicken
Buttered 9×13 pan
6 boneless chicken breast
6 slices of bacon
12 slices of Armour
Dried beef
8 oz of sour cream
1 can of cream of
mushroom soup

Lightly salt and pepper each breast, wrap each with one piece of bacon and two pieces of dried beef and place in baking dish. Mix the sour cream and soup and spoon over chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 and half hours. Spoon over rice or pasta.

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