Any ideas?

I am giving a very small dinner party for six to eight people in about 11 days.

table setting

I am absolutely out of ideas and was wondering if anyone out there had any suggestions on what I could serve as the main course?  Ordering something already prepared has occurred to me, and is not ruled out, but I would like to prepare it myself.

There are no allergy restrictions and we all love to eat so almost anything can be on the menu. If you would like to include the recipe I would  be most appreciative and if you offer only a suggestion I would be happy with that as well.

It can be gourmet, quick and easy, baked, grilled, (not fried), healthy or extremely fattening.  I just want it to taste delicious!!

This post may save you some time in regards to what is not going to be served Bone Broth

THANK YOU in advance if you are willing to help me out.

If not, I will find something, just thought I would put it out there.

Gotta Go

I’m done.  Our relationship is getting out of control. Although my husband has not said anything, I think he notices the changes in me. How can he not?

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You have been in and out of my life for years.  I was able to resist my urges for a total relationship with you until recently.  For months, you wooed me with your charm until you got me under your control.  Now, I have grown tired of you forcing me to decide between choosing you or choosing something else that is actually better for me.  I get so frustrated that I often indulge in both.

You demand that my place is in the kitchen searching through cookbooks for the perfect recipe, slaving over a hot stove or mixing up delectable sweets.  You insist on interfering while I roam up and down each aisle at the grocery store. Your badgering is relentless and I give in just to make you stop. Once we get back home your sweetness tempts me to the point that all I want to do is devour every. single. part of you.

I admit, there are so many occasions when you bring me joy and make me smile. There are no boundaries, no limits, no end to the pleasure.  But honestly, sneaking around to enjoy the mid-morning, mid-afternoon and pre-bedtime indulgences have got to stop.  Not to mention the midnight rendezvous!

This may not be the best time to end this since the holiday season is right around the corner. You beg for more time.  You try to convince me we could have so much fun together during this special time of the year.

Yes, it has been fun, lots of fun, but (this is not as hard to say as I thought it would be) it is time for you to go. It won’t be easy, but I figure I have eight good weeks to work you out of my system.  At that time, I know you will try one last trick to tempt me back into a relationship with you ~ one last fling during the holidays.

In all honesty, the way things have been going between us lately, just looking at you makes me feel disgusted and provides plenty of self motivation. Waiting to start over in the new year is just not an option.

You are toxic. There I said it.

The choice is mine – Goodbye …fullsizeoutput_223c

… time for some changes.

 

Religion, Politics, and Football

“There are two things you should never discuss with other people ~ religion and politics ~ remember that,” said my dad as we sat around the table one evening after dinner.

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Over the years this phrase always comes to mind when I am in the company of people who don’t share my religious or political views.

In today’s digitally driven world, we declare our views and state, “My blog, my social media page – if you don’t like it, you know where the unfriend button is.”  Being passionate about your beliefs and knowing where you stand is as American as baseball, Uncle Sam or apple pie.

People will get set off by something on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC or Fox News and post their opinion.  Before you know it, there is a huge fight.  Some folks respond to the post typing thoughts they might never actually say if the discussion was face to face.  Shutting out those who disagree with us even slightly  ~ is hard to watch/read.

Acting like adults and having mature conversations about religion and politics is plausible.  We attended a dinner party recently and these uncomfortable topics were brought up for discussion.  The bantering lead to great conversation, but only because everyone followed the one cardinal rule: respect other people’s opinions. These topics are just not worth losing friends/family over.  The conversation gradually changed and we began to talk about the things that bring us together ~ our children, grandchildren, and the memories of our cherished friendships.  I wish more Americans could act this way.

Regardless of what political party we support we are all Americans.

I read an article that inspired this post the other day and I enjoyed the way it ended so I am going to borrow it.

“People are really going to be fussing and fighting and slinging mud in the coming months,” said the gentleman. 

“With the midterms?” she asked. 

“No,” he replied.  “College football.” 

And that should be what we really argue about.”– Sudie Crouch

GO DAWGS!!!  images

Images are from free clip art on the internet.

#22 SENIOR SALON 2018 — Esme Salon

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Welcome to #22 SENIOR SALON 2018 Linkup will Start: August 13, 2018, 02:00 am and Ends: Aug 17, 2018, 8:00 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time). Add a link of a POST by hitting the Blue “Add your link” button at the end of this post. #22 SENIOR SALON… The post #22 SENIOR SALON 2018 appeared first on Esme…

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Brandon

Another school year is in full swing and I am blessed to have a sweet group of kids.  It is a mixed group of cultures, and I love that!

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A teacher friend posted an article on social media and now I would like to share it.  I was granted permission by the author – Sarah Tiller – to share her writing.

“When I was in third grade, in the middle of winter, a fellow classmate came to class dressed in a tank top, shorts, and the same dirty tennis shoes he wore everyday.  The boy’s name was Brandon.  He was very skinny, had dark circles under his eyes, very thin hair, and was on the lower end of the curve in class.  I think about day often.  I wore a purple, puffy coat, long sleeve shirt and long jeans that I argued about wearing with my mom that morning.  I walked from my mom’s warm mini-van into the school.  Brandon (I didn’t fully realize it then) stood outside waiting on his bus.  He then rode a cold bus to school and walked in the same doors as me.  All the while, he was wearing his power-rangers tank top and shorts.”  

“Our teacher was in horror when he walked in.  She wrapped him in a blanket and had him sit in front of her space heater she was using to warm the room.  Shortly after he got hot chocolate and was called into the office.  I remember my teacher telling the class about how Brandon was very cold, and that he would be getting special treatment and none of us were to say anything about it.  Though I never asked him, my teacher, or (later) my parents, I wondered why he got hot chocolate.  After all, we were all cold, weren’t we?  I do remember that when he came back from the office he was wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt, holding his previous clothes in a Walmart bag.  We were all trying not to stare at him as he walked his bag to his locker. As an adult, I weep every time I remember this image.” 

The author often thinks about Brandon, where he is, and did he ever know love.  “I wonder if he ever understood gratitude for our teacher caring for him that day and applied that encouragement to the rest of his life.  I wonder what he remembered about me.”

Many people responded with stories of their own. Some of them shared stories of classmates like Brandon.  For example, one woman gave her new coat away to a shivering classmate at recess and when the woman’s mother found out (even though they did not have much money either) she was very proud. Another gave away a hoodie to a younger shivering student waiting at the bus stop and never asked for it back.

Others were teachers, like myself, who shared heartfelt stories of personal experiences with students like Brandon.  Teachers shared how they bought new shoes, warm clothes, jackets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, provided wash cloths and soap, bought breakfast, paid for lunches and provided snacks.  They kept a watchful eye and made sure these students felt loved even if it was just for the hours they were in their classroom.

Still others were “the Brandon” in the story.  One person shared that she and her siblings wore dirty clothes that were always too big or too small.  Her parents always had parties so she seldom had a good nights rest.  They were always hungry, always cold, and never clean.  She weighed 56 pounds in the sixth grade. She was teased and laughed at by her peers.  As an adult she now has a donate clothing closet for middle school girls and also makes care packages.

Did you know Brandon?

As I start this new year, I offer a prayer for all the Brandon’s in the classrooms across our country who are starting a new school year.  May they be blessed with the love and support of a good teacher, and the kindness of their peers.

When God is in the Classroom

Such an inspiring read to start off this upcoming school year. I will most certainly try my best to be His hands and feet.

Mrs. Ackley

I’ve heard it said in various ways, “They have taken God out of the classroom.” I’ve even been asked, “How can you work in a public school when you can’t share your faith with the kids?” I’ve watched teachers walk away from public education with great frustration because of politics, evaluation systems, state standards, pay, and lack of support.

If I am being honest, there are days in which I ask, “Why am I still here?”

Yet, every time I ask myself that question, I hear a soft whisper in my soul… “Because I am here.”

God is in your classroom.

From the depths of my soul, I believe that God has never, can never, and will never be removed from the classroom–even a public school classroom.  One, He is bigger than that. Besides the fact that He is omnipresent , He is the “indwelling spirit” that fills you…

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Things I Miss Most Now That My Children Are Grown

I was cleaning out some boxes I had packed away, and ran across some old photos which made me feel nostalgic for my children’s younger years.

Seeing photos of cub scout outings, little league games, recitals, birthday parties, vacations, and Christmas mornings I found myself longing for when my children were little.

In spite of a couple of teary eyed moments, there was a constant smile on my face and I often laughed out loud as I gazed at picture after picture.  I could not help but think to myself that once upon a time I was involved in my children’s day-to-day life, and I was also the center of their universe.  After I carefully placed the scattered photos back into the box I began to reflect on what I miss most about those days.

Tucking my children into bed, snuggling, reading and having long conversations. When they were little, I would often lay with them as they began to drift off to sleep during nap time or bedtime. I would gaze at their faces and sometimes I would trace their features with my eyes, brush my hand against their cheek and sometimes they would twitch or let out a soft sigh as they snuggled closer to me.  I was so in love. When they got a little older we might have discussions about the day or life in general and sometimes I would rub a back or pull eyebrows (my oldest son loved for me to do this – still does). I miss the intimacy of those quiet conversations. I loved reading to them and fiction stories with pictures on each page were the order of the evening when they were young and eventually became chapter books as they got a little older. I would play “good brother, bad brother” with my hands as puppets which always ended the evening with giggles.  My youngest son would suck his two middle fingers and would occasionally pull them out of his mouth and use them to point to interesting pictures in the story.  When I close my eyes I can still hear him slurping as I read stories to him at bedtime. If I was tired and wanted to get the story read quickly I would try to skip a page or two or shorten the dialogue, but my daughter always called me on it.

I miss going to bed at night knowing that all my children are safe and sound in their own beds under one roof.

All of the “firsts” – First word, first step, first day of school.  I remember all of the “firsts” with my children filled me with such joy and excitement.  The way my heart beat quicker when they each said “mum ma” for the first time. The way their little legs wobbled as they took their first steps while their faces shined with sweet smiles as they toddled into my open arms.  I will always remember when I dropped my daughter off for her first day of Kindergarten. The children did not go directly to a classroom, but assembled outside on the playground.  Parents had been instructed to not walk their children into the building.  I drove my car around to the back of the school and parked off to one side so I could see my daughter as she was escorted to the playground.  At first she stood alone for a few minutes looking so little and bewildered as she watched the other children playing.  My heart was breaking and I wanted to put my arms around her and take her back home with me.  (I still get teary eyed when I think of that moment.) About that time two little girls went running over to her and the next thing I knew she took off running with them.  All day long I thought of her and hoped she was comfortable and content. She was all smiles when I picked her up later that day.

I enjoy their adult “firsts”  ~ first baby, first apartment, first job…but these firsts now include other people and this is a very, very good thing, but those days when it was just us are so very special.

The noise ~ the sound of their voices ~ their presence.   I miss their laughter, the impromptu conversations, the sound of their footsteps entering the kitchen or rumbling up and down the stairs. They did not always make a joyful noise, they did their fair share of bickering, crying, and back talk.  But I do miss knowing they were in the other room watching tv, upstairs lost in their own private world of their bedrooms, in the basement playing ping pong, or outside riding bikes with neighborhood friends. I miss being able to talk to them almost anytime I wanted.  Car rides to ballgames, swim meets, tennis matches, scout meetings, and school events were opportunities to catch up or just enjoy the comfortable quiet of being together with someone you love.

I remember longing for the sound of quiet and now, some days, the silence can be deafening.  I miss the noise.

Serving pancakes in different colors or shapes for breakfast, giggles in the dark, Mother’s Day morning surprises, vacations, sweet kisses, warm hugs, wiping tears, bandaging boo boos ~ I could go on…and on…and on…and on.

And suddenly they’re grown.