Happy Father’s Day

Standard

Happy Fathers Day…. in society today that term is special.  Anybody can be a father,  but Daddy is a big job!!!  Growing up I can remember meeting my dad when he came home from work.  Blue collar all the way,  bear hugs, and tickles came with him.  He smelled of coffee, engine grease, and Brut aftershave.  He worked hard everyday, sometimes two jobs and had  very definate ideas that some find old fashioned.  For all our differences of opinion as an adult I can honestly say i’m greatful for being raised this way.  We learned the value of a dollar, manners, and respect.

.                          Daddy’s  chase away monsters under the bed or in the closet.  He worked hard for our family and spent time with us growing up.  He took imaginary phone calls, drank tea at tea parties, and helped mom make the coolest blanket forts.  Daddy’s  are mysterious creatures and I’ll explain what I mean.  Mine was a real ‘guy’.  He didn’t do things in the kitchen unless it was a Saturday or Sunday.  He did not wear blue jeans.  Button up shirts, flannel in winter.  Dad made the waffles or pancakes. (Mom had to make the eggs and bacon… He didn’t do that).  Electronic toys are great but, I learned how I should be treated by my future husband, by watching  his example.  Mine wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me.

I remember having one of those moments in time where you realize how lucky you are.  At my younger brothers wedding I watched his bride dance with her father, of all my siblings I was fortunate enough to have a father daughter dance.  I miss the whit and gentle teasing.  I would meet him for breakfast, at a really early hour.  That was one of his quirks, if he had to be up extra early he thought we should too.  This sucked growing up on Saturday mornings.  Unless he was making bbq, he spent years perfecting that.

I carry him with me everyday, as I passed on to others he lives on in my heart.  I see his example shine through when my brothers play with their children.  Even when they don’t want to admit it.  My dad lost his battle with cancer in 2011.  I vividly remember in coming to terms with his death how lucky we were to grow up in a world where more and more families fathers are absent.   I wish they had visiting hours in heaven, but until they do, Daddy I Love You.  To all the dads out there I hope you become the hero in your family.  Daddy’s help us see ourselves like this. 

​​

To all the dads especially if you grew up without one and know find yourself in the role.  Spend as much time together as you can.  To my half siblings I hope you got to spend time with the same father I grew up with.  Children have no owners manuals and parents genrally do the best parenting they are able.  I hope both children and adults remember that word of wisdom mine left with me.


Pizza …. Not Delivery It’s Mom’s

Standard

Okay I grew up as an 80’s  kid.  Little Ceaser’s, pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Hungry Howie’s were the flavor of the day.  I made the BookIt Club, every month with my parents encouragement to read.  Even so if planning a menu and Pizza comes up our choice is not who do we order from, it’s more like do we have the ingredients or run to the store?  You see growing up outside of those awarded  pizza’s, we made ours at home by mom and my brothers and me.

If our friends were lucky enough to get some they would come back just for the pizza. That tradition has been passed down.  I make it and if we go home we still request her pizza over takeout any day.  We still have a traditional round pan, yet we normally make two rectangle baking sheets to feed us all.

The crust is home made from my dads, mothers cook book.  We prefer supreme and even people who claim they don’t like some toppings do not complain when they eat it on this.  Typically we top ours with olive oil, garlic, ground beef, ham, sausage (if we have it), onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, we usually skip black olives due to salt content.  Cheddar cheese ( the sharper the better) mozzarella, and whatever else we have on hand or purchase for….Munster cheese, cherizo, multi color pepers and onion, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper jack gives quite a kick.  

Roll out dough on two baking sheets.  We leave it hand toss thickness or thin if watching carbs.  Regular tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce to lightly coat dough.  Layer Italian season, parmesan, pepper flakes(if desired).  Next up are onions, bell peppers, olives, mushrooms.  Sausages, ground beef, ham, and anything else we desire before a tight layer of pepperoni.  Add yellow then white cheeses in generous quantities.  Ours always looks like deep dish, we use plenty of toppings.  Into the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.  One pie at a time.  Cut into about 12 squares and use good spatula to lift weight of slices.  Give few minutes to cool.  Everyone will crave this and this is better than Pizza Hut, and the most you can buy.  

Note:  When I said you can involve family it’s a great way to occupy children with supervision.  Growing up I always grated cheese, or as oldest used sharp knife to chop veggies.  True story… we were visiting my brother from another mother… not really but only time I’ll get to say it, before he deployed over seas.  Met my new sister in law..who brought 4 beautiful children into our family. After a long day exploring Savannah, GA. Where they were stationed we retired to our hotel pool for the kids.  When the subject of dinner arose it would take about the same amount of time and quite a bit more expensive to feed all of us so we swung into the grocery to get needed supplies. You can buy pizza dough mix you just add water to. I’ve used them before so we decide to buying instead of ingredients to make from scratch.  So we get to their house and we all take a task to hurry this along.  I cooked on stove, mom did crust, she loves making bread, sister in law supervised 7 and 10 year olds using knives.  My brother called from somewhere at front of house and with children’s tasks completed sister went to answer his call.  So mom is ready to roll out and knead this dough so niece goes to pantry retrieves flour to coat table, hands and rolling pin.  So she scrapes dough out on flowered table.  It’s sticky well this can happen even with great dough recpie.  So like any good baker she adds more flour. And adds, and adds and she’s asking me since i’ve used the mix and I’m like it never did that with me.  Now she’s making these funny noises, and it’s stretching out of bowl like slime and by now my sister in law has come back to investigate the uncontrolled laughter, punctuated with moms eeww sounds.  My father and brother have been drawn as well from hunger and sound effects.  Everything she makes 3 to 5 sounds she’s asking me…..and all I can do is laugh as she lets it slide back to bowl.  2 cups of flour and its getting worse not better.  We’re now discussing alternatives, when sister in law notices *flour* container and asks where it came from.  7 year old says I got it from pantry and shows her where.  As it turns out the exact same container, has powdered sugar in it.  She tells them apart by right or left side of pantry. I so wish we had thought to video this!  We laughed so hard and the pizza really could have used some pineapple, but we finally got everyone fed. 

Memories like these are irreplaceable!  The retelling just does not match the look on moms face as her hands are covered in this slime.  I’m so glad my adopted brother got to take this with him when he deployed. He came home, but I have yet to see him since dad passed away.  If you ever read this please know that we love and miss you, and we’re still here when you decide to come home.  Dad would be so proud of the man you have become, that goes for all my other siblings as well.  Sending love to all my siblings and extended family, you’re all loved and I miss you guys so you have to come see me, since I cannot travel those distances yet.  How do you make lasting memories with your family?  See the recipe on Pintrest!  Click here!   Mom’s Pizza Recipe 

Are you green? Emerald that is!

Standard

Wether its the Emerald isles or the Emerald Coast, they both get their names from May’s beautiful birthstone….you guessed it Emeralds.  These precious stones have been coveted by humanity throughout history and its easy to see why.  If you have a May birthday this is your stone.  If not the allure and beauty of the stones gives all the reason needed to add these to your wardrobe.

Colors range from light Columbian to deep Emerald.  Most are determined by mine location.  The fewer inclusions the more valuable the stone.  In times gone by these stones were thought to have powers beyond matching a gown.  Some are rumored to be cursed, while some held curative powers if ingested.  Emeralds are so coveted they even have a shape of diamonds and gems named after them.

A symbol of unending love and honesty have encouraged favoritism as wedding stones of choice.  The Regency era in particular Irish and English girls received many.  Long seen as a symbol of hope and prophecy made them very popular.  Unlike the red ruby, a statement of passionate love, an emerald conveys a complex symbolism and emotions.  Cleopatra draped herself in Emerards.  Rich luscious green color beautifully played off the violet of Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes in the 1960’s 
While being most calming color green it  reflexes growth, peace,balance, and reflection.  Healing and fertility are also attributed to these very rare gemstone.  Verdant tones and inside are tempered by cool blue within the stone symbolize a steadfast bond.

Giving an emerald, you showing a dash of humanity.  You’re considered “green” or a bit naive when you don’t have everything figured out in life.  This should be seen as a positive when you consider your new life as a couple is defined by many unforseen obstacles to confront and solve together and learn lessons from.

Emeralds are often associated with strong sexuality and fertility, it was historically believed to help with difficult births or the problems bearing children.  Linked to healing and balance within the nervous, respiratory and even aid digestion.     Ancient Romans, for example, felt that the very soul of an individual was restored when they wore emerald jewelry.
So whether they are for your Birthday, or you just love the color I wish you any luck they may contain.

Superhero week

Standard

Okay for the Star Wars fans May the 4th be with you.  Travel the galaxy they said, learn the ways of the force  and play with lightsaber.  As Yoda says “There is no try.  Do or do not” .   That is my current attitude in physical therapy.  For a year and six months I’ve been fighting to be able to start out patient physical therapy to stand up!  I’m happy to announce due to my doctors and I fighting insurance red tape and people who should not have a place in healthcare, I’m finally seeing a real therapist twice a week.  With a special lift for this situation, I’m happy to say I can stand under my own power!  The force is defiantly with me now.  Thank you to the therapists who inspire this every day. A special thank you to all nurses including the ones at my doctors office who helped me fight to get services that are supposedly covered by my insurance. These amazing people wade through things I do not want to think about.  Bring comfort, hope and a warm smile, while keeping up with more patients, who let’s face it most of us admitted to hospital are not usually at our best, than most of us could do.  They run errands, give meds, dodge verbal barbs.  They actually see the doctor, and attempt to carry out their orders and make sure you get the care you deserve.  When they describe nursing on career day, I’m betting this was not the job description that you happily volunteered for.  Nurses should have their own superhero costumes.  CNA, RN, ARPRN, CCRN, and i’m sure I missed some, I apologize,  these people do amazing things everyday, then do it all again tomorrow.

Last and by no means least Mothers Day.  What does it take to be a mom?  Somewhere out there should be a course, boot camp, or crash course for this vital role.  Any woman can have a baby!  That’s what I grew up thinking.  As i’ve grown and matured I have learned that while most women can conceive, and give birth not all moms are created equally.  I was lucky.  My mom is someone to look up to.  I always thought when I grow up that’s what I want to be like. Minus the things she did that made me mad…..lol.   I dreamed as most little girls do of getting married, having a family…  becoming a stay at home mom was my goal after school.  

I had interests in computer sciences, and took business and technology in line with pursuing college.  It just didn’t work out to finish my degree. “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” I don’t remember who said it first anymore, but I moved on.  Met and fell in love with what at the time I thought to be a good choice…..I should have listened to my mother the first time.  So I moved away from home, embarked on a new career oriented life that I was reasonably good at, and started making my way in the world.  Family was always there if needed, and my mom became my best friend now that we stopped arguing.  

This time I listened and took a good long time before marriage. Even with my career I still held that stay at home mom dream.  I wanted to meet my children when they came home from school.  Our house usually smelled like homemade bread, or cookies.  My mom made dinner every night and we ate as a family.  After homework, we played games or perused other projects that were important at school or various after school activities. They were never too busy to help with homework or school projects.  It was so cool when your mom was your scout leader!  Camping, crafts, she did both my Girl Scout Troop and my brothers Cub and Boy Scouts.
That was my dream.  As I look back there must have been some planning by a higher being in my life.  In 2013 we learned to be grateful that we failed.  After many attempts we learned that a pregnancy would have killed me.  For those who don’t know I suffered a burst aneurysm stroke.  The danger I’m told had been there for years, and had it happened during labor it would have severely limited what doctors could do for either of us.

After my stroke I moved back home this time with hubby in tow.  My disabilities make it beyond my abilities to do all the house upkeep my self and as my mom likes to joke as she adds in her age together we almost have the abilities of a single person.  With daddy passing on so unexpectedly, it’s a good fit.  Grannies, as the babies call her loves spending time with the grandbabies.  As I finish therapy we hope to make some changes to the house we didn’t know we’d want or need.  I know from the expressions on their faces, when Grammie hugs you close they feel the same love I still have.  If i’ve forgotten to say it recently, as I often do, Thank you Mom for being there.  For being the parent I didn’t always like but needed. I love you.  I still hold out hope that maybe one day if I cannot have children of my own I can be one of the special moms, who make you feel like this as they knowingly take on the step mom role.

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there finding a way to make it work everyday. Most of all take the time to celebrate her. Don’t forget Grandma’s a lot of whom deserve a Mothers Day card too.

Hurricanes!  What you need to know.

Standard

Most media forget to tell people that you have to be prepared to take care of yourself and family without government help for at least three days after a major hurricane.  I grew up in Florida so we are very accustomed to hurricanes every summer.  First off the media likes to fuel hystaria!  Most category 1 and 2 should only concern low lunging areas and people who live in manufactured homes.  Unless you are hit by spinoff tornado, our regular storms are worse than these storms.  At 3, 4, and 5 long term locals start paying attention to local weather stations.  National new services are not able to give details and help to locals especially our smaller towns.  A great resource is a place called crownweather.com oddly enough they hail from Maine.  With a little preparation they are easy to deal with and you can reduce stress with hurricane party.  I’ve prepared an emergency list that you can print for easy planning to keep your family safe.  Three to five days is the minimum you should be able to survive on your own.

  It will take agencies like FEMA, or Red Cross to get into the area to help provide things like ice, water, and MRE’s, or medical help.     You may choose as we have after touring a medically needy shelter to take advantage of the electricity guarantee, or with adequate preparation we stayin home.  Our home generator and ample supplies made taking care of our selves the better choice.  My hubby is diabetic and cannot wait 3 hours for a bologna sandwich. We weathered Ivan at home quite comfortably.  The shelter had several difficulties procuring supplies. 

 Remember these must be multiplied for all family members sheltering with you.  Pets, children and the elderly have more specialized needs. For children make it a camping trip.  Add fun camping supplies to keep children occupied.  Camp songs and games keep little ones happy and on fun adventure until normalcy returns.          
Poncho with hood for rain
Emergency survival sleeping bag
Swiss Army knife (with can opener)
FM radio w/Batteries
Pen and paper for notes
60 feet Nylon Rope
Pliers~ to turn off utilities
Duck tape to shelter in place
Dust mask (N95)
Leather palm working gloves
Rolls of toiletpaper paper in Ziploc bag
Hygiene kit-tooth brush paste, wet wipes & femine items
Mini hand sanitizer
Garbage bags and ties for sanitation
Complete First Aid kit with Prescription medication for all. You need emergency supply to last 1 week without refill.
Shovel – to dig sanitation holes
Several flashlights with extra batteries  I also add several lanterns both battery and oil to illuminate lager areas.  Candles, lighters and matches serve well in dinning room and living room to provide light for meals after dark or old fashion board games.  
24 hour light stick
Waterproof matches
Food hard-working high in calories and don’t need to be cooked
Backpacks if needed to move or carry supplies
Solar charger for electronics
Generator with reserve fuel
Manual charger bank for cell phone
Car charger plugin for phones
Car converter to plug in laptops or other small appliances
1 gallon water per person per day
Clothing for 3 – 5 days per person both hot and cold

                      I. Important documents (I keep ours in 3 ring binder)  contains birth certificates, marriage license, copies of driver licenses, and social security cards on all.   Insurance documents both policy and deeds.  Bank account information, Usernames and passwords, list of credit cards, and numbers.  Account numbers for all utilities and services. Tax returns, and anything else I would find important if starting over again.  Don’t go crazy but, I keep all in one binder so if fire or flood I can grab it and go.  I try to update several times throughout the year. Irreplaceable family photo’s should have a book of their own…consider making scans stored on non destructible DVD Rom disks.
Florida in particular the gulf coast has 1 more essential hurricane party must have…

Plan early, be prepared and stay safe friends and enjoy your summer!

Celebrate Mom

Standard

Mom, I have often pondered the question.  Do women ever get tired of hearing that word?  In the cereal aisle at the grocery store? How about the checkout lane with its kid friendly placement of candy? Having lost my opportunity for the pitter-patter of little feet, I can only look in and observe.  Oh sure we have spoiled furr-babies so it’s close but not quite the same. 

 

Charlie the spoiled cat

Mom, is an all encompassing term for guardian,  nurse, chef, taxi, troubleshooter, mediator, personal assistant, house keeper, tutor, and the list goes on.  Today most moms help provide an income for the family.  Or in some cases the only income.  When we look back our mom gladly shouldered these responsibilities.  My mom added full time teacher, as we were home schooled.  

As a result we grew up owing her much more than we can ever repay.  This Mothers Day we celebrate her!  Looking in I have learned that no matter how tired or stressed, being a mom is a commitment that never ends.  Somehow they find the patience to deal with it 24/ 7.  As I have grown to adulthood I know there will come a time where my mom, my best friend, confidante, will not e here.  This year amid the hustle and bustle of life remember to say Thank you to the woman who gave you so much.  As I saw on social media be patient when answering the same technology questions, over and over,  after all she taught you potty training and how to add a spoon.

So when you are considering a gift for mom I try to remember how much she has given me.  While I would love to give her the world, I’m going to have to be practicable.  In my family, I’m giving a Mothers Day brunch to celebrate these brave women who have taken on the challenge by being a Grandma, and Mom.    

I’ve gathered some of my favorite recipes here.  As for a gift flowers and balloons are a big yes.  I also want a more meaningful gift, personalized.  Something that says because of you I’ve learned respect, love, responsibility, patience, kindness, I know faith and I have grown to be the woman I am today.  As I tell my husband I could ask for nothing better as I am almost perfect… and always perfectly me.

I thought you’d like this Board on Pinterest… http://pin.it/kKQCAwL

What are you doing to celebrate Mom?