Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone in the blog world a Happy Thanksgiving.  May your holiday be filled with family and friends  and so many blessings  that you can't even begin to count.  May your travels be safe and the food fill your belly.  Be present in the moment and ponder the memories in your heart.  From my home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans Day

I sit here today, typing on my blog where I am allowed to write what I choose.  I can disagree with our leaders in Washington, I can not like the election results or I can like them.  I have so many rights in this country we call home.  I went to mass today without the fear of being arrested or someone blowing up our parish.  Monday I will send one child to public school for which I pay very little in taxes for.  I will send one child to a private school, and I will home school another child.  It is my right to choose what I feel is the best fit for my children.  I am thankful for all of these rights. I am thankful that I don't hear bombs going off outside our house, because I know that there are mothers who rock their children to sleep with that very sound out their windows.

I also know that heaven forbid, our country needs to defend itself, we have legions of bright, brave, and  well trained men and women who are willing to pick up their arms to defend me and my family.  In this country we call home, young men are simply asked to register their names at 18 in the event of worse case scenario.  I also know that so many men and women choose this life of service because they feel called to it.  I know that the different branches of military that serve this country are made up of men and women that we owe a debt to that we will never be able to repay.

I have many family members that have served and serve this country, including an Uncle I never met because he gave the ultimate sacrifice before I was born.  I am so proud of my Uncles that served, my cousins who have served and my Dad and Father in law that have served.  Along with my family, I have many friends that have served as well.

From my family to yours, We thank you for your time and your service.to this country that we call home.

My Dad in the USAF

Monday, November 5, 2012

Food Is Not Everything, But It Is Something

As so many of you out there, I am in the middle of starting to map things out for the upcoming celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The food table is what we will gather around with our loved ones.  We will do this at our parish, our homes, with our friends and family.  The true reason is of course  for thanksgiving and to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Food is a large way we celebrate these things.  I love food.  I love the smells, the colors, textures, the way it tastes and the people I will share it with.  I will be embarking on the spirit store soon to purchase large quantities of rum for my rum cakes that we give to neighbors and friends and to take to various gatherings.  My boys are already talking about making gingerbread cookies again this year.  I am not a huge baker but the savory foods is where my tongue does its own little dance. The meats, sides...my moms dressing deserves its own category named heaven on earth.  I can hardly wait to taste my Aunt Louise's potato soup come Christmas Eve.  Oh and my Uncle Gilbert's fudge , you will find my boys including my husband in line for that.  If you watch, you will see their eyes roll every so slightly as they bite into the goodness of the itty bitty squares.

Preparing for these upcoming feasts are easy for most of us.  What is this sense of dread I feel you ask?  My dread comes from trying to make the upcoming season of food just as exciting for my daughter.  My little girl can't eat her Great Aunt's Soup nor can she have her Grannies dressing, it's a big fat no to the fudge also, along with all the other foods that fill up my memory.  I have done quite well if I do say so myself in making our weekday mealtime a place  that takes care of us all equally.  But the upcoming season gives me a big fat headache.  We work and intentionally push a positive attitude about food allergies and our life the entire year.  But during this season, you can hear me shout form the mountain tops, "FOOD ALLERGIES SUCK".  My cousin whose own grandson is on a restricted diet as well, is quick to reassure me that Lily Rose and her Cameron probably don't miss the foods like we do for them because they have never had them.  She is right about that.  My sadness comes more from what will be lacking years from now.  My Granny has been gone  almost 20 years and I can still taste the goodness of her caramel dumplings and her fried poke greens, oh her ribs and potatoes and the list goes on and on.  So my sadness comes from Lily Rose not having the memories of the food traditions the rest of us have.  My Uncle Tex passed away this past summer and since my boys were able to speak, they have  associated butterscotch candy with Uncle Tex.  We were in a gas station the other day and passed some by the register and one of my boys reminded me that Uncle Tex always gave them a piece when we went to see him. If you named each person in my family, I could most likely tell you a food I associate with that person.  Now maybe that is a sign my family has a small addiction with food or maybe it is just me.  But the memories are there just the same.  I hate American cheese but if I ate a piece, I would first fold it in little squares because that is how my mom would fix it for me along side a few saltines.  My kids will ask about Christmas when I was little.  They like to hear about the traditions of the past and I always mention breakfast on Christmas morning.  We use to get a country ham during the season and on Christmas morning, my Dad would pick every last scrap of ham off of the carcass and mix it with eggs and we would have the best scrambles eggs ever.  Really it was more of ham with some eggs mixed in. But they were soooo good.  If I close my eyes, I am in the avocado green kitchen of my childhood and can see clear as a bell the grease on his fingers as he gets every last piece of ham.
So, what do I need to do for Lily Rose.  Food will always be a large part of seasons of our life.  I have to work hard to find fun and good things to make every year for her.  I  need to find what will be her Christmas eggs, her special candy and so on.  And I need to intentionally look at the things that we do that she can recall and smile about with future generations.  This is not a bad thing, just not what I planned on.  So this year, we will make her cookies that no one else wants to eat but we will make ornaments that she can share with others instead of cookies.  I will take extra time to look at pictures of loved ones gone with her and the boys and tell the stories of who they were so they don't get lost.  We will concentrate on making her Thanksgiving meal to take with us that has all of her favorite veggies and fix some that she can share, but we will also concentrate on soaking in the stories that are happening in that moment.
As the new year rings in, food allergies will still suck.  But she will have wonderful memories of the season past to call on for years to come.