Happy Anniversary To Us!

I know I have been absent from these pages as of late, but I am working on something pretty special to be published very soon. Today, however, is a special day for this blog, because this is our second anniversary together, dear readers. I have shared with you pieces of my soul and some recipes from my family I swore I would make live beyond me.  I have enjoyed this journey we have traveled so far, and I believe the best is yet to come.

Today is also the second anniversary of my other blog, Life With Cats, on which I journal the trials and wonders of cat guardianship with my three little knuckleheads, one of whom has cameoed here on these pages.  Someday, hopefully soon, the old posts from that “other” website will be transferred here to share with you.

Here’s to another year of fun recipes, thoughtful insights and inspiration. I look forward to sharing these parts of myself with you.

God bless!  Shalom.


Family Traditions

It’s Independence Day weekend, and for the twelfth year in a row, we have no plans to do any of the traditional things that families and folks do during the holiday.  When we moved in 2004 from Oregon away from hubby’s family and friends, we left behind most, if not all of our social life.  We have found in our late 30s and 40s, it’s not as easy to find folks with as much in common with us as we did when we were younger. We don’t have children, so we don’t really relate to couples that do.  So, we end up spending most of our holidays with my mom.

Most folks think of cookouts, beaches, fireworks and family for Independence Day celebrations, myself included.  My family would always have a get together with my parents’ friends, and we would be dragged along and, despite vociferous objection, end up having a great time.  My mom always made her baked beans, slow baked in a stoneware bean pot, and usually a macaroni salad.  My dad and our gracious host would be in charge of the grill, while the ladies worked in the kitchen to finish up the assembly line of goodies. My brothers and I would swim until we were called for lunch, and afterwards play a game of lawn darts, the ones that were recalled because someone decided they were too dangerous.  Before dark, we would all head back to our hometown, by the beach for fireworks and sangria (well, the adults got the good stuff.  I usually got to have a Tab, which was a special treat.) The display was nowhere near what is done on the 4th today.  Just simple, one at a time fireworks that lasted almost an hour, with big, tummy-sickening booms and pretty lights.  Sometimes, they would scream.  Mom called those, “screaming mimis.”

When we all got older and no longer did the cookouts, one of the new traditions we started was watching NASCAR races on the holiday weekend. It was my older brother who actually started this tradition, and he was usually found at the annual picnic glued to the television, watching the race by himself. Eventually, the whole family would watch the race, settled in and cheering for our favorites.  We even had a hometown favorite on the national race stage that we watched every week, hoping that he would do his biggest fan (my brother) proud.  This was back when the majority, if not all of the races took place during daylight hours, because tracks just weren’t set up for evening races like they are today.  Over the years, I’ve lost my taste for watching the races, and the fact that most of the drivers I grew up watching have long retired contributes to my waning interest.  But I will still usually watch both races at Daytona, and both races at Talladega, AL.  This is the one family tradition that I still adhere to, mostly because it doesn’t require that I have friends that share this interest.  I guess one tradition is better than none.

Wherever this weekend takes you, and whatever you do for the holiday, I wish for you to stay safe, enjoy yourselves, and make memories with your families and friends.  God bless America.

Happy Birthday, America

The first thought that comes to mind today is, “Where did June go?”  Here it is, the last day of the sixth month of the year.  Which means that Christmas is now officially less than six months away.  You’re welcome.

The 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is coming up on Monday.  That is still a big deal to many of us.  The Declaration of Independence.  The birth of a new, unique nation.  A nation settled and established by some of the bravest souls to walk the Earth, in search of liberty, FREEDOM, to live  how they wished, not under tyranny rule of a not-so-benevolent king.  I say that these men and women were some of the bravest souls to walk the Earth, and I mean that.  It takes courage and resolve to journey across an ocean that few had ever navigated to a world where there were no comforts, a place where there were no guarantees, where death would visit them in startling numbers just the first winter.  But they had a purpose.  The settlers of the colonies desired to be able to worship their God freely and without persecution by their government.

If you wish to truly celebrate Independence Day with a movie this weekend, stay away from the theater (I hear that the new Independence Day movie is horrid anyway) and turn on Netflix.  Search for Kirk Cameron’s Monumental.  I promise you, it will not be time wasted.  Have your children watch, as this is a family-friendly movie.  There will be no cussing, no “adult themes.”  But they will learn something, and what they will learn is the truth about why the pilgrims fled England to settle in the new world.  And chances are, you will learn some new things, too.  Things that are not taught in schools any more, because education has ended up in the wrong hands for too many years.  That is another conversation all by itself.

From the daughter of a World War II army vet and her family, to every man and woman serving in the Armed Forces to protect this land and her Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, to the families who gave their soldiers to our great nation, and for the generations of those who did the same in the name of freedom and liberty, I thank you.  For it is because of the best military in the world that we still have the best place in the world to live our lives, raise our families and love one another.

God bless America. Happy birthday!

Happy Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving day is here once again, and whether you are home or visiting family, or away from most of your family like my husband and I are, it is my wish that everyone reading this remembers that this holiday is about an attitude of gratitude. The turkey is fine and dandy (and we aren’t even having turkey this year) but don’t forget about the incredible blessing we all have, as Americans, to live in such a place as this. And if you are fortunate enough to have your family close by this holiday, don’t forget to tell them you love them and are thankful for them.

As for us, my husband and I will be spending our day with my soon-to-be 87 year old Mom, who lives nearby. She is all we have this year as our other siblings and relatives are in states much farther north and scattered. Indeed, I am blessed to still have her.

Wherever you are today, I pray that you are warm (or cool), loved and thankful. Be safe.


New Post Coming Your Way Soon!

I know it has been awhile since I’ve written a post but believe me when I say I have a few drafts tucked away and when the time is right I will share more recipes and goodies with you. My grocer has eggplant on sale this week, so expect my grandad’s recipe very soon!

I hope you all are well. Keep checking back, more yummies are coming your way!