Tag Archives: family

This Hungry Place is about to Starve

Most people have a hard time believing that people here in the U.S. go hungry too. And NO not always by choice, I pre-empt the ones who say we are always on a diet. The sober truth is, all you have to do is look a little closer at your neighbors or people you pass on the street next time. Many people can barely afford to eat and are too embarrassed to admit it.

Too embarrassed to admit it because in a country as rich as ours supposedly to be, it’s unthinkable that anyone’s stomach should grumble involuntarily. An yet, congress is proposing cuts to food stamps and other forms of aid to the poor. No, strike that. Yesterday, conservatives actually pushed through the bill that will cut billions from the food stamps (a.k.a. SNAP–the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other welfare programs.

Many conservatives claim that SNAP is out of control and rife with abuses. If they had their way, it should be simply eradicated. What they don’t realize is that the population that benefits most from the program is the future of this country, the children. See the quick infographic below for figures.

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Protect Your Children with Your Parenting Style

In a world where bullying, kidnapping and pedophilia have become well known terms, it is vital to teach our children how to interact with their surroundings and environment in a safe way.

No one can monitor their child 24/7. Even if that’s what we would like to do, it just isn’t realistic. So how can I protect my child? How can I keep her/him safe? Here are a few tips that I have parented by.

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When Friends are More than Family

I saw this on facebook. It was getting a lot of ‘likes’ and actually, I liked it too. Very few would disagree with the saying. It says:

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the one’s who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

Source: Facebook - Lessons Learned in Life

We all certainly have friends who are like family. Sometimes, they even seem more like family. They are so much like us that it’s a wonder we are not attached physically.

But you know what, the older I get the more I realize that there are great friends, but there is also family and family always trumps friends.

The people in you life who will want you in theirs, the ones who accept you for who you are and the ones who would do anything to see you smile and love you no matter what…

They are your friends when they do all that for you for a time. We all move on in life and very few of our friends will be there from beginning to the end. Enjoy the phase of your life with them. You will treasure them forever.

Now your blood, your family, they have no choice but to do all that. Your family had no choice whether they want you in their life or not, but they accept you for who you are and love you no matter what anyway. They would do anything for you including make you smile, make you cry, and make you so frustrated you wonder what you’re doing with these people.

Sometimes you may wonder how you even became part of ‘that’ bunch. They are so nothing like you. Your friends are more like you.

But the thing is, your friends only reflect how you are on the outside. They are like mirrors. That’s why you are so much alike.

Family is what makes you tick inside. Family is all that gory, unsightly stuff inside you that somehow makes you work the way you do. Family is what makes you able to see, to feel, to breath, to think, to move.

Family is what makes you who you are inside so that you can look good outside.

So maybe next time you think your friends are your ‘real’ family, think again. No matter how awful or how diseased your family, it’s what’s inside you and when you don’t take care of what’s inside you, nothing you do outside will ever work right.

Tick, tock…

Now I Remember Why I Have Wrinkles!

I look in the mirror and and wonder where I had gone. Where did that flawless, youthful looking me go? Why is this middle aged woman with slack, lackluster and wrinkled face staring back at me? I had started to panic, I was scared I missed something in between youth and middle age. How did I get here so fast?

Then, swift like a douse of cold water, I remember. It was that thing that happened a long time ago when I decided I deserved more. It was that time when I chose to follow my heart and be with a man. Not just any man, mind you. I wanted one who could make me laugh. Well, he was handsome too, but that’s not supposed to matter 😉

The thing is, the more I look at myself in the mirror lately, I remember now why I look this way and it makes me happy. I get more beautiful the more I stare at myself.

I see every line on my face and remember the countless moments when we laughed so hard our stomaches ached.

I remember all the times when I cried I was so happy.

I was always beautiful even during the times when I looked worn, fat and unkept. I didn’t need a mirror then, I just needed his eyes.

When I went to look for a new bathing suit this past summer, I realized why the skirted one piece and tankinis were so popular with women my age and there were no yellow polka dotted bits in that department.

But I looked closer and realized that my body has become a map. It has gone and done what even my journals and blogs could not do. It has recorded every important milestone in my life and created this landscape on me. Every peak and valley, every twist and turn were all right there. All the parts are laid out just as they were meant to be. Raw, unaltered, honest and well-worn.

All I have to do is to look and realize… Hey, I don’t look bad at all! In fact, I do believe that man is not joking whenever he marvels at how beautiful I am…. wrinkles and all.


Of Lasagnas and Birthday Traditions

Today is my youngest daughter’s 14th birthday. We are not having a birthday pary. She doesn’t even want us to sing to her! I suppose she is now officially a teen ager. One tradition that we do have for their birthdays that she still wants to stick to is the one that involves food.

Every year on their birthdays, they get to choose the meal. On previous years, when it came time to my youngest daughter’s birthday, everyone else in the house will start dreading the day because they know what is coming. SPAGHETTI!

No, my spaghetti isn’t that awful! It’s just that it’s the Clone’s favorite meal. She requests it at least once a month but especially on her birthday because she knows she’ll definitely have her wish granted.

Click on this photo for recipe

This year though, you can tell someone is getting older because spaghetti did not even come into play. What did come into play though is spaghetti’s more sophisticated cousin, LASAGNA!

This year, she requested Spinach Lasagna, roast beef with lots of gravy and collard greens. Yes, she specified COLLARDS because she was tired of malabar spinach which is the only green that we had a lot of from our garden this year. She didn’t want anymore spinach, well except for the small amount used in her lasagna, so off to the market we went to buy collards.

Her main request of spinach lasagna, we discovered a year or so ago when I participated on a blogging carnival called Daring Kitchen where food bloggers were encouraged to try challenging recipes that they would normally not cook in their kitchen. For this particular challenge, it was making your own pasta, and spinach pasta at that!

The recipe looks a bit daunting, but I assure you, by the time you’ve made this dish a couple of times, it really does get a lot easier. This time around, I was thankful for the girl’s penchant to play with dough. I still haven’t got a pasta maker so was I glad when she asked if she could roll out the pasta! She did a great job, too, even managing to roll out wide sheets that almost covered the whole pan in one whole swoop!

It was also a great way to spend a birthday afternoon together. Fun and satisfying 🙂