Friday, August 21, 2015

Too Much Food


San Marcos Mexican Food

August 21, 2015

Doesn’t that look like an over-abundance of food?  This is a typical Mexican meal in Oklahoma.  TOO MUCH FOOD!  But it was good……….but TOO MUCH FOOD.  My family, especially the women, loves Mexican food so we are always searching for the perfect one.  We all have our favorite places, but the corn tortillas and salsa will make or break it for us.  Tonight the hubby and I tried San Marcos on Meridian.  It has a lot to offer; the salsa was delicious and the corn tortillas were good, not El Chico’s perfection, but good.  Downside--the quantity of the food was HUGE, OVERWHELMING.  Such a waste of food.  We’d been happy with 1/3 the serving.  

Earlier in the week, we took our grandsons to another Mexican food restaurant, the place they wanted to eat on their last day of summer vacation.  Logan looked down the table and said “Look at all that food.  That is too much food.”  Out of the mouths of babes.  Too much food when so many have so little. 

Too much food – ponder that…………….. 

I love you.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

38 Years Ago Tonight


38 years ago tonight, I ate dinner with my hubby, Steven, Mom and Dad in Norman, OK, at the Boomerang Restaurant.  I know specifically because that night was the night before my second child’s birth.  I was pregnant with a little girl (unknown gender in those days). 

We had a wonderful night with my family.  My parents came back to our house for visiting and playing with our almost 3 year old little boy.  I knew before my parents left for home, some 50 miles away, that my water had broken, but I didn’t really realize that contractions would begin soon.

Much to the chagrin of my husband, I took a shower and fixed my hair despite my shower and shampoo earlier in the day, and the fact that my water had broken.  Also, much to my hubby’s chagrin, I had let my parents drive all the way home (some 50 miles or so) only to call them back a few hours later to drive back so that Dad could keep my son while Mom, hubby, and I made our way to the hospital.  Yes, in hind site it wasn’t the smartest move on my part.

Nonetheless, our beautiful Shawna was born bright and early the next day, 8:00 a.m.  Both our babies were born on Sunday.  Sunday’s child—full of grace.

38 Years Ago Tonight

I love you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sleep Tight My Sweet Boys

Tonight little boys and girls all over Oklahoma are getting ready for bed in hopes of a good nights sleep, perhaps a little anxious.  Tomorrow is a big day in their lives; the first day of a new school year.  My grandsons are a little nervous tonight, but excited to start 6th grade and 3rd grade.  I pray that God grants these grandchildren a fun and safe year, and that they fall asleep fast and stay asleep.

Today, when we kept them we decided to make their last summer vacation day a lazy day.  To be truthful I had asked them if they wanted to go to the park or zoo, but they just wanted to watch a movie.  They picked, with our urging, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World".  They'd never seen this G rated gem and it had been years since we'd seen it.  Blaine built a fort using chairs and a sheet, settled inside with pillows to watch, while Logan just rocked back in the recliner.  And the giggling began............for all of us.  At intermission, we all loaded in the car and went for Mexican food, one of their places.  When we got back, we finished the movie.  All in all, a good, relaxing day. 

Sleep tight my sweet boys.  Nana sends Nana love.

I love you.

The movie we saw today was so entertaining.  I remember seeing this at the theater and I was literally hurting from laughing so hard when I left the theater.  Why can't someone make movies like this again?  Are the writers just not as clever and talented?  I don't know.  I do know that lots of parents and grandparents would head to the theater with their families if there was something entertaining for the whole family; something rated G or even PG.     

Monday, August 17, 2015

Roasted Vegetables, Rhonda’s Way

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Last time I wrote, I was setting on the front porch enjoying the Saturday afternoon.  I actually was able to make myself get up and mopped the kitchen floor by hand.  By hand I tell ya.  That front porch was still calling my name.  How often do you get days in Oklahoma like that.  I actually fell asleep on the swing and it was WONDERFUL.  The best sleep I have had in a long, long time.  When I woke up I was craving vegetables.  You don’t often hear a person say that, do you?

So I made roasted vegetables, one of my favorite side dishes.   A couple of years ago my youngest sister made this for me and I was hooked.  While I could make this for my entire meal, the hubby seems to think we ought to have a meat. 

My recipe is probably similar to my sister’s, but not as good as hers.  (Doesn’t everything taste better if someone else makes it for you?)  This recipe is easy peasy.  Just chop your vegetables to bite size pieces and toss with olive oil to coat.  Add the savory spices of your choice and toss again.  Pour onto your pan or baking sheet and roast or bake.  I roasted mine using my convection oven, but a conventional oven works well, too.  My convection oven was set at 375 degrees and was done to my desired tenderness, crunchy tender,  in about 25 minutes.  I tossed the vegetables a couple of times during the cooking process to make sure the veggies weren’t burning.

Vegetables can be your choice.  I happened to have broccoli, onions, carrots, and yellow squash on hand so that is what I used for this meal.

Fresh brussel sprouts are fantastic fixed this way.  I halve mine.

That’s all that’s going on around here.

I love you. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What to Do Next

3:00 p.m. on this most lovely of Saturday afternoons.  We have a rare combination of sunshine, low-80s temperature, and only a very slight breeze.  For Oklahoma, it is indeed rare.  It's August 15th, for Pete's sake.  (Ever ask yourself who Pete is?)  It's suppose to be HOT, HOT, HOT--with emphasis on HOT.

There's not much going on this lazy afternoon on the old homestead.  Another rarity.  I'm setting on the porch swing listening to one lone mockingbird.  Poor guy can't get anybody to respond to any of his calls.  And now I hear one lone LOUD cricket, and poor guy, he can't find anyone to respond to him either.  Now I hear a Blue Jay.............  Such a nice way to spend the afternoon--on the porch.

I'm trying to decide what to do next.  Go to the gas station with hubby to get gas for the mower?  Go inside and clean my house?  Iron?  Mop the kitchen?  Stay right here and listen to the summer sounds?  Hmmmm, I am getting very sleepy................

I love you.  Will tell you what I did next time I write.


Thursday, August 13, 2015


Left to right, Kay (sister), Evan (Kay’s grandson), Rhonda (sister)
Tara (my niece), Brenda (sister), and Me
This last weekend, my two Oklahoma sisters, Evan, and I took a road trip to Mississippi to visit our other sister, you know, “the one with the pool”.  (If you’ve ever watched “Keeping Up Appearances” you’d understand the quotes.) We had a wonderful time, eating, swimming, and catching up, but the most enjoyable part of the visit for me was setting around the dining room table getting reacquainted.  We just never have enough time at Christmas.
Take a look at that picture.  Do you think we look alike?  Most people say we do, but while we may look similar in appearance, we have very different views.  We came from the same background—farm gals, so why don’t we think exactly alike?  I’ve been thinking about that since we returned.  Each sister has a unique perspective on life predicated on our family situations.  I think, also, that our views are often those same views of our husbands; not that we don’t have minds of our own, but that our window to the world often reflects the discussions had at our own breakfast tables. 
This last weekend, we had the opportunity to set around the breakfast table as adult sisters.  We had many deep discussions about the world around us, our children, our work, our health, retirement or how soon to retire, hopes and dreams, what we were having for lunch, when were we swimming, where we were going for dinner, etc.  We each came to the table with different baggage (hard knock lives) so everyone had something unique to say.  It was an enlightening time and a time of reflection.  What I saw most was a reflection of Mom and Dad, maybe voiced differently, but a reflection of the values mom and dad instilled in us.  That is the deepest comm0n link of all five of us siblings.  And the common love of good food.
While we are sisters and our opinions can be very different, the bond of love for our parents is the rope that will never break.  These girls, and the brother and our other sister, and other brothers-in-law are family.  The rope that binds us will never break.  No matter the opinions, it is a rope that will NOT break.
I love you all.
P.S.  Our other sister, the one who is our sister by choice and loved deeply, wasn’t able to make this trip.  We will definitely try to get a visit with all of us again soon…..including my brother.  I sometimes hate it that he is a boy and can’t follow us into the bathroom to continue our conversations while we put on makeup.  Yes……..Robert……..let’s plan something together as an entire family.  Something where we can set around a large table and get reacquainted and listen to each other’s stories. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

And We Were 25 Again

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There’s nothing like a convertible ride on a summer evening.  And we were 25 again.  I took some phone pictures and even though they are great images, they captured a memory of a nice evening.  We could see the clouds building in the north, but we had no idea than an hour later, we, too, would get some of that delicious summer rain.

Beautiful sunsets, beautiful cloud formations, lightening, thunder equals a wonderful night.  And we were 25 again.

I love you. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

One More Sunday Dinner

Hey everybody.  Don't tell the children, but it is August.......UGH.  Not a huge fan of school, but it is about to start.  Again....UGH.  I pretty much hate school even after almost 50 years, another UGH.  I attend a lot of my grandchildren's school events, but it is almost torture for me.  Not that I don't like to attend for my grandchildren's sake, it is that I just don't have fond memories of my own school years.

But that's not what I want to write about tonight.  Kitchen aromas - that's what I want to talk about.    Yesterday, I had the occasion of cooking a rather large meal and taking it to someone around lunch time.  We took the food and came back about 30 minutes later so the aroma of ham and hot rolls, dumplings and scalloped potatoes still lingered in the air when I opened the door.  And did it ever smell good.  There's nothing like the sense of smell to take me back to that special place with those I love.

That is where I went Sunday; back to those special people I love.  Every Sunday for years (and then they cut it back to every other Sunday) my grandma, aunts, and mom would take turns fixing a huge Thanksgiving-type meal for all their families.  No restaurant can compare to the wonderful aromas when we'd first walk in after church; roast beef, ham, fried chicken, smothered steak, or pork chops in the oven.  Talk about comfort food--we had it all; great food, a wonderful family, and an afternoon of playing with cousins.  Comfort food is about love and that is where I went Sunday--right back to those I love.  Wish I could have one more Sunday dinner with them. 

I love you.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Little Nap Never Hurts

Good afternoon everybody.  What a week it has been so far.  Exhausted -- I can't begin to tell you how much.  Not much sleep the last few days because of family sickness and life's issues. 

Yesterday, I went for some ultrasounds on my heart and my neck arteries to make sure nothing was going on that might be cause for mini-strokes.  Blood clots could be cause of my ocular migraines.  I know I am fine and when the doctor sent me for these tests I felt that it was overkill, that I am fine.  Nonetheless I went.  The tests took 2 hours and when you are there in the darkened room that long and looking at the ultrasound screen, it began to take a toll on me.  Is there actually something wrong with me?  Can I possibly be having mini-strokes at my age?  They didn't tell me they were going to inject saline.  Why is he taking so many snapshots.  What does that white color mean, the red color, the green color??  Why do we do this to ourselves?  I was totally mentally exhausted by the time I got home.

Later in the evening, my daughter texted that not only the baby had strep, my daughter had fever, and her oldest son, too.  My middle grandson had strep last week and now they are falling like dominoes.  Everyone over at their house was a little stressed.  And you know my motto, a mother is only as happy as her least happy child.  Last night my daughter was extremely worried about her daughter and her breathing and screaming.  Naturally, I was, too.  Finally, about 1:00 p.m. everything calmed down a bit at their house and the baby was sleeping.  Over here at my house, not knowing exactly what was happening over there, I couldn't sleep.  Mothers are like that, they worry whether the child is a year old or 40 years old.  It is what we do.  I wouldn't have it any other way.     

Finally, the dawn came and my spirits lifted just a bit.  Time has a way of healing or helping most things.  We just have to wait it out.  The children are better.  Daughter is better, and I'm doing ok.  But it is time to rest.........a little nap never hurts. 

I love you. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lemon Shrimp Linguine

Tonight I made a wonderful Lemon Shrimp Linguine.  It was absolutely wonderful which I probably could never replicate since I didn’t use a recipe.  Basically, it was shrimp sautéed in olive oil and butter with crushed garlic.  I added about a half cup of white wine, juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of capers, half cup of halved grape tomatoes, and 3/4 cup quartered artichoke hearts.  Pour this sauce over linguine, top with shredded parmesan.  To add a little extra taste, top with a chiffonade of basil.  Delish!

But………..I forgot the Lemon Thyme………..the basic reason I made this dish.  I had thought all afternoon that the lemon thyme would taste great in this dish, but I forgot (chalk that up to old age),

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My little herb garden.  Clockwise from Upper left – Rosemary,

Cilantro (which has gone to seed), Lemon Thyme, and Oregano

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Another pot of Greek, Mexican and Italian Oregano, but I have no idea which is which.

Lemon Shrimp Linguine

I love you!