Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goal for the New Year: Learn to Make Chapatis

You will laugh when you read this. 
I grew up with my grandmother and aunts making Fried Indian Bread, American Indian.  They always had their flour bowl ready for whipping up a batch when guests arrived.

Tonight I had bought some Tabouli and Hummus for supper.  When I arrived back at my daughter's, she said, 'We need some pita bread', she then called her husband, but he was not able to stop on his way home for pita bread.  I said look up how to make flat bread.  She did but was unable to find a recipe.  I then suggested she look up Indian fried bread, thinking of my grandmother's.  She excitedly exclaimed I found it! Chapatis!.  I looked over her shoulder and there, sure enough, was a recipe for Indian Chapatis.  The two breads are very similar in ingredients.  The preparation of Chapatis is definitely different.

 Chapatis and Indian Fried Bread are both made with flour and water, but you just make a patty of the Indian Bread and fry it.  The Chapatis you knead, form into balls, then form patties, roll into 1/6" circles and fry in an oiled skillet. 
The flavor of the Chapatis Bread is great and is wonderful with hummus.
The evening was great.


The finished Chapatis.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reporting on Progress The First Year

I have known I would have to make this post for a month now. I have mulled over in my mind how I would write it. This will be long but it is needful to be so. It is the first anniversary of my husband’s death. He died Dec 23, 2008, after, in the terms of cancer battles, a short battle of colon cancer (less than 3 years). I have missed his friendship, but I was not left wanting. The memories are very uplifting, from the first time we met, to the last “I Love you”. We met when I was working nights in a cafeteria. He was still trying to find out why his first wife had divorced him. Our eyes met and I knew him as a special person for me. Although I must say, I was leery of dating a divorced man. I got over that in a hurry and I knew on our first date I would marry him. It took him 6 months more to figure it out. (smile, and a wink) We were married a year and one month after our first date.

I remember him h
olding me in his arms protectively when I thought I was going to miscarry our first child. Our crying when we thought our marriage was dying 2 years later. Then the triumph we felt, after spending two weeks on a trip together, and we figured out for ourselves the secret to unity. We read, discussed scriptures, politics, and life goals together and never stopped in our 39 years of marriage. He was always looking out after the family. He had a special link with his children and always knew when one was in trouble or needed help in some form. That is a loss of guidance for me. It was the special gift Heavenly Father gave to him. One of the hardest challenges has been to not have him at special family milestones such as baptisms, blessings, and birthdays.

One time as I was walking in the grocery store after a hard day at work, he caught up to me and unexpectedly placed his hand in the center of my back. I felt a loving warmth flow through my back and shoulders, allowing me to relax. He didn’t know what he had done, he had just felt I needed his touch at the time. Do I miss him? Oh yes!

This is us posing in American Gothic form. I made him the jacket. He loved it. We had some crazy fun times too. Laughter and humor were staples in the joyous areas of our life. The highlight of his turning sixty was our winning the 'Twist' Contest at my High School reunion in 2006.   When he was sick, he tolerated very well my attempts to cheer him and to keep him in a positive mood. I fear that I as I pressed him to be positive, I did not allow him to voice the depth of his pain. He wrote about it in his journal, and only said how I was an angel that lifted him up when he was in great pain. He is my hero.

We had trials. We went through the loss of a job when he was 44. I remember holding his hands and kneeling in prayer with him, as he worked through the anxiety of job searching at the age of 44. He found odd jobs to see us through until he found another good paying job. He believed in sustaining his family.
When he discovered that he had cancer, we became more one than ever. I never left him alone for more than a couple of hours to take care of business. He would worry about what was going to happen to me. He made sure that his will, life insurance, etc was all in order. Our home was paid for and so were the cars. I made sure that his wishes to be aware (not drugged), and able to make his own decisions was met. Sometimes it was a precarious road, but we made it. (My only regret was I fell asleep the morning he crossed to the other side.)

The day before he died; he had quit eating and drinking. I would urge him to eat to his irritation. That afternoon, he spoke to most of his family and was able to say I love you. He knew our oldest daughter was traveling through snow to try and get there. That evening, he looked up at me after being cleaned, and said through his mask, “I love you”. I know he does, and I am able to forge ahead in service of others to live up to the little messages of love and confidence he expressed about me in his journals and to his friends who have shared how he said he love me and appreciated me as a companion.

While it has been occasionally tears, as I have been driving alone, on a pillow late at night, or when sharing stories with my children, it is alright. It is a natural process of pain of the absence of my sweet heart. I do not walk alone. I have his love and the love of my Heavenly Father to sustain me, as well as the knowledge of the atonement of Christ to give me light to see that there will be a day I will see him again.

This is my report at the end of the first year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saying Good Bye Will Be Hard

I will be leaving on Tuesday to go back to Texas.  I have had a wonderful time and the joy of being with this special family has been like a breath of spring. 

I know I will shed a tear when the parting time comes because my sweetie T and I have shared some special times this visit.  She has a special spirit, and a sweet loving countenance. Is she perfect?  To answer that question, I would ask is a two year old perfect?  No.  She is a masterpiece in the making, and I love her so.

Her mom and dad and little sister are special too.  I will have to return at some point to get to know little miss Em when she gets a wee bit older.

Walking through life and having to leave those you love is heart wrenching, but the blessings are knowing that that walk was worth it. 

GrandmomE will be back.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It All Started With Bubbles

If you have ever worked in a toddler nursery, you know one way to capture the attention of a little one is to get the bubbles out and blow bubbles for them.  They are fascinated.

 (Clip art from Fotosearch)

On the second day, after I arrived at my daughter's home, my granddaughter wanted to go outside and blow bubbles.   We did.  She had so much fun chasing them around and trying to stomp on them.  There was one that was so pretty and I wanted to catch a picture of it just resting peacefully on the grass stem when, WHAM!...the little foot came down and with a peal of laughter she was off to catch another bubble.  We were both fascinated with the one that rose gently and gracefully into the sky and passed over the house until we couldn't see it anymore.  What a fun memory it is to have.
That day was also the day she discovered that my screen saver on my computer is bubbles.  It fascinated her.  She will come into my room with a sweet shy smile and say "Bubbles?".  If my computer is off, I turn it on.   If it is on, I tell her to be patient and they will come out and play for her.  She will sit for a long time just watching the movement of the bubbles, sometimes I sit with her and we make up stories about what the bubbles are doing.
Somewhere along the way, I decided that I would make her bubble pj's, if I could find the fabric.  I found some frogs and bubbles flannel fabric online at Hancock's.  I went to Hancock's to buy it, but they did not have the fabric there.  Luckily they did have some wonderful ducks and bubbles fleece and now you get to see my animated, happy bubble girl in her new bubble ensemble.
She was so excited to see her new outfit in the mirror and had to tale with herself about it.

It was a bit hard to accept that it was time to go to bed.

Then we found our matching pillow and it was all right.

And we wish each of you a good night. ; )

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Snow.


Late Winter Snowfall

Snow falls
on snow.

Lazily drifting
above to below.

I shuffle
through the white.

All is still...
no sounds tonight.

The trees covered
in frozen ash.

Quiet, serene
they watch, abashed.

I am obtrusive,
so I leave.

Saddened by thoughts
I cannot conceive.

Outside snow
falls on snow.

What else is out there?
I do not know.
(click on this to view other poems by Texasblu)

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Fun of Creating Christmas Decorations For Your Children.

As my children were growing up and my first grandchildren, I would make ornaments that would be personally theirs for putting up on the tree.  My oldest helped when she was little then the others followed suit each year making salt dough ornaments.  We had a full set of Dorthy of Wizard of OZ, Disney Characters, and misc. bears, angels etc.  I was heart broken when we moved to the country and mice got into my storage and ate most of the ornaments.  (Hope they got heart burn.) 
My next attempt at personal ornaments were embroidered ornaments.  We had a panda bear, angels, my favorite were the Holly Babies ornaments, and mercy the rest escapes me.  My aunt, their great aunt, made crocheted bells, and stockings to put on the tree.  As they left home, I would give them their own ornaments to keep.  I bought some porcelain Holly Baby Angels to represent each of my children on my own tree as mine grew bare from giving away theirs.  I still have those. 

It had warmed my heart to see my Em crocheting her own ornaments for her tree.  But! Tonight after her daughter went to bed, she unveiled her crocheted manger scene to be a surprise for her daughter to play with as the season progresses. I had not seen it yet.  I was amazed at the detail she put into each of the manger scene people.   Her husband takes great delight in her creativity. Hope you enjoy seeing her manger scene. Some traditions around the birth of Christ are just wonderful.    


Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Christmas First For Me,

My son-in-law saw a flyer for an old fashioned Christmas parade in downtown Tehachapi.  Tehachapi is in a valley surrounded by mountains.  At this time of the year it is cold.  I was excited and joined in with a "Yes! Let's go".  The day came for the parade and I was ready to go into town at noon.  'No', I was told, it is not until the end of the day at 5pm.  That's good, I can do that.  Now something I have not told you was that all I brought with me was a knitted poncho for a coat.  I had a hoodie, so I decided that would be enough, after all it was 47 degrees and the sun was nice as we left.  My daughter was on the cell and was not paying attention.  We got into town, the streets were busy as people began choosing the site they wanted to sit at to watch the parade.  Everyone had parkas, blankets, hats, gloves, I began to ponder the situation.  The sun was setting, the wind was "breezy".  I began to get cold. It was evident that I did not have enough layers on.  The granddaughter was cheery, but by 5:30pm the sun was down, it was 27 degrees, and the wind chill was 17.  As you can tell, between my shivering and the granddaughter's the pictures took on a blurry view.  The parade was nice the community put lots of thought into their floats.  There was a consensus amoung the citizens that Christ was the focus of Christmas.  I was uplifted by that.  On the other hand, I have never been to a parade at night and never at 27 degrees in dress pants, a sweat shirt hoodie, and no gloves or stadium blanket.  I am still warming up. 

When we got home, we made homemade chili and added Fritos and cheese to make Frito Pie.  We also made wassail. The granddaughter was not sure she was all that festive yet, so it was hard to get her to sing along with the carols we were having fun with. 

After supper, we all retired to our rooms to snuggle under warm blankets to sleep and dream of warm sunny beaches with a nice warm ocean breeze.

The video is of the Tehachapi Marching Band.  The town is very proud of them and they handled the circumstances well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Setting Up For Christmas

Conversations around picture taking time....
Introducing our new Christmas Wreath!
"Mommy, do I have to?"
"Ha ha ha I did it"


I love Christmas time, but I love my blog background because it feels like me.
So I will include Christmas in my blogs.
These are pictures of our Family Evening on Monday.  My ham granddaughter is showing off the wreath we made using rose hips and rosemary.  She is a joy.  Next she 'helped' her dad with the lights.  Afterward, we made stain glass windows with tissue paper and construction paper...she helped with the glue
     ; ) .
This is always a fun time for me seeing the excitement in the children's eyes.  There are things that will be changed and adjusted but that just adds to the fun.
The scriptures "Parenthood is a sacred obligation and privilege, with children welcomed as a 'heritage of the Lord" (Psalm 127:3) and 3 Jn. 1: 4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." Tells my feelings towards my children and grandchildren.  I guess what I am saying is, that Christmas is a time, that I am able to bring a spiritual aspect into my relationship with my family young and old to become focused on the great event of Christ's birth and prepare us for listening to teachings of Christ as the new year proceeds.    I have a cloth Manger scene for the babies to love on, and story books for the midsized ones.  The other we always read the story of Christmas out of the scriptures. 
Hope your Christmas is homey and bright...come by and visit as we progress towards the night before Christmas.