The Smell of Memories

When I think back to memories from my childhood that revolve around food, it has to be the smells and sounds at my grandmother’s house.  My grandmother was a very small Mexican woman.  I believe at her tallest she was 4′ 11″. We called her Tita.  She never learned how to speak English, but I  enjoyed being at her house and spending time with her.

I can remember sleeping on a blanket pallet on the living room floor under one of her handmade quilts.  I’m not sure how she made her quilts, but I have never used a heavier blanket in my life.  Anyway, I remember slowly waking up and hearing the sounds of her working in the kitchen.

Tita was a typical Mexican woman who worked from the minute she woke up to the minute she laid down to sleep.  She awoke every morning at the break of dawn and the first thing that she would do is make a batch of homemade tortillas.

She made the best tortillas I have ever eaten.  She would cook her tortillas on a cast iron griddle.  I can remember watching the tortillas on the griddle.  They would almost inflate in the middle.  This made them even better.  Then, to eventually get one of her warm homemade tortillas.  There is nothing better.

I have tried to make my own homemade tortillas, but they are not as good as Tita’s.  Her recipe was a pinch of this and a scoop of that.  There were never any real measurements.  So, I have a recipe that I have found that I use that I will share with you.

Marsha’s Tortillas

  • 2 1/2 pounds all purpose flour
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot bacon grease or Lard
  • warm water (add a little at a time & mix until dough in not sticky)

Roll out small amounts of dough and grill on skillet until slightly brown.

Enjoy!

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Feather Fetish

Yesterday, while reading some of the posts in my reader, I came across closedmouth0’s post for writing 101 assignment 7. When I read her post about her experience with her little boys, it reminded me of something that happened when one of my kids were little.

My daughter, Riley, was probably about 3 years old and we got up early to attend church services on a beautiful day.  Typically, kids spend time playing in the churchyard and that day was not any different.  The sun was shining and were certainly feeling the blessings of the Lord that day.

My husband and I were standing around visiting with friends while the kids were playing.  The kids were running in and out of the adult groups laughing and playing the entire time.  I look around and I couldn’t find my little Riley.  I walked around the church to find her and there she stood with her back towards me.

That morning, I had dressed her in a cute little blue corduroy jumper dress that had a little pocket in the front with Winnie the Pooh and Piglet stitched on it.  Riley had her dark brown hair in a ponytail that curled slightly at the ends. When she was little, Riley fell in love with anything that was soft to the touch.  She loved feathers, satin, plush, and soft fleece.  There were many times that she would carry around a soft bath mat or pick a blooming flower just to rub it on her cheek.

Anyway, back to our beautiful Sunday afternoon.  Riley turns around with the little smile and her hand was strategically placed over the pocket on her dress.  I didn’t really think much about it as we walked back around to her dad.  We stopped right in the front of the group as they visited a while longer.  As we stood there, I looked back down and my little darling was still holding her hand over that pocket.  I reached down and removed her hand.  Under her hand, there were a few black feathers poking out the top of the pocket.  I pulled the pocket away from the dress to see what was inside of her pocket and it was nothing other than a dead bird.  She had picked up the dead bird from the churchyard and thought it would be a great treasure.

I love this little girl and her little quirks.  She has always been a free spirit that has big dreams.

The added picture is of this beautiful girl (who is now a young lady) and her handsome older brother (who is now soldier in the National Guard)  So many blessings.

Two of my kiddos (1998)

Two of my kiddos (1998)

The Back Deck

My house has a wonderful large deck on the back.  This deck is probably 25 ft. long and has a lot of potential to be a haven after a day of chaos.  However, this space is a blank slate that I have never really given my decorator touch.  I have a vision in my mind what this space could look like and more importantly what ambiance it would create.

At this time, the deck isn’t covered.  This would be my first wish in regards to the deck.  I would love to be able to sit outside during a soft rain and enjoy.  It would also create a shaded area in those hot summer afternoons.  After adding a roof to my deck I would string some decorative globe lights to add some useful lighting while creating mood lighting.

Secondly, I would like to update my outdoor furniture.  I currently have a patio table with six woven chairs.  This is necessary for my family of six, in order for everyone to have a spot to sit. I would love to add a lounge chair that would make a great spot for outdoor napping.  This lounge chair would a have a thick cushion for comfort.  I would also like to add a side table in between two cushioned chairs for added seating.

I would like to have an outdoor rug that would offer a relaxing, comfortable living environment.  I want to have the coziness of the indoor spaces on my outside deck.

I can imagine myself grilling some delicious chicken breasts on the grill and sipping on a drink of my choice.  This space would be great for entertaining and hosting get-togethers.

My deck already has a great view with a overlooking view of the backyard that has been freshly mowed.  The smell of that cut grass fills the air along with the smell of the grill. Just beyond the yard, there is a small stream and a patch of trees that host small animals. It is a beautiful sight to watch.

One day I will have this area to enjoy, but for now I enjoy the vision in my dreams.

The Opposite of Me

One of the most interesting people that I have met recently would have to be a coworker of mine.

At first I didn’t really visit or talk with her much, but as the last year passed that changed.  I also started following this person on social media and got a closer look into her personality; as well as her family.  I was able to see her humorous side.

I believe that this person intrigued me because I felt like she almost had the opposite personality than I have.  She was able to speak her mind and say things without thinking about the repercussions of her words.  She was never viewed as rude or spiteful.  I admired this trait.

I always choose my words carefully when talking with others.  I worry about the way that I come across to people. There are days that I wish could speak my mind or tell someone exactly how I feel about different situations, but I am a people pleaser. It is completely out of my comfort zone to do so.

I admire people who can speak their mind and be bold in different areas of their life.

Raspberry Flips

My husband introduced me to one of the best tasting treats.

Casey’s General Store has the most divine danish every invented.  It is the raspberry cheese flip.  The danish is filled with raspberry cream cheese filling and has icing drizzled all over the top.

I could eat one of these every morning.  However, at 430 calories each, it has to be a once in a while treat.

Biggest Fan

One of my favorite things to do is attending the sporting events of our children.

My oldest daughter played basketball and volleyball through her Jr. High and High School careers.  She started as a timid little girl who lacked confidence and was scared to take chances.  Her senior year, she left as a leader on the team and ended up finishing 3rd in the state for charges. I attended almost every game she played with the exception of a few that couldn’t be avoided.

Tonight, my youngest daughter had her first game of her 7th grade year.  She has the most tender heart and wants to please everyone she loves.  She also worries about most situations.  I enjoyed every minute of the game today.  She was a timid little girl who lacked confidence and was scared to take chances.  But before I know it, she will be a senior graduating high school.  She will be a leader with her peers and I can’t wait to see the positive changes in her life.  One day, she will take chances and not fear the consequences.  She will be confident and brave.

I do not underestimate the power in team sports.  I have seen the positive impacts and look forward to enjoying more of it.  Not to mention that I love cheering my kiddos on.

I will forever be their Biggest Fan, on the court and off.

Strike One!

Our family usually takes one camping trip in the summer time. However, that hadn’t always been the case.  It was probably about 8 years ago that some friends of ours invited us to go camping with their family.

We were very excited about going camping.  We had only been one time before about 5 years prior to that and it was so miserably hot that we ended up packing up early and headed home to the A/C.  Our friends are avid campers and I think that I could describe them as “professional campers.’  I was in awe of all the camping equipment that they set up.  It was pretty amazing.

However, when the camping trip began it did not quite start off on the right foot.  We had borrowed a tent from my brother since we didn’t have one.  So when we arrived at camp, we began to unload everything and set up camp.  It didn’t take long for us to encounter the 1st of 3 bad experiences on that trip.  We got the tent out and started to set it up and realized quickly that the tent poles were not in the bag.  So, there we stood with a very flat tent and no way to raise the roof.

Luckily, our friends had an extra tent that we were able to borrow.  So, strike one tried to ruin our trip, but we persevered.

Coming soon…..Strike Two!

The Music in Me

I don’t think that anyone realizes the impact that music has in our lives.  I love music so very much.  Music can heal the soul and it certainly has mine at times. Sometimes, I pretend that my life is indeed a musical in motion. I could be in the kitchen and I suddenly break into song.  I may have even passed this trait on to my youngest son.  He once broke into his own song titled, “Everybody Loves Cheese”  He is so hysterical. So, when I think over the thousands of songs that I L-O-V-E, it is almost impossible to pick the few that are most important in my life.  I’m not sure if I can say if these are the ones that made the most impact, but that are certainly some of my favorites.  Let’s if I can narrow this down. 1. I have to name “Summer Lovin’.” I believe that this has to be on the list because as a preteen girl I was literally obsessed with the musical Grease. I could sit and quote every line and song in the entire movie.  One funny thing about this movie though is that the version of the movie that I watched was the public television version.  So, it had been edited and censored.   When I finally became an adult and watched the theater version of the movie, I realized that the movie was quite risque. This song and movie intrigued me as a young girl in love with the idea of love.  I so wanted a guy to love me so much that he would break into song about it.  (By the way, this has not yet happened.)

2. Perfect by Pink has to be on the list.  My daughter suffers from a low self esteem.  I have always tried to let her know how great she is.  She is perfect in every single way.  This song brought that message in another way.  In the song, part of lyrics state, “Pretty, pretty please don’t you ever, ever feel like you are less than perfect.”  There were times that I would randomly send her a text message saying, “Pretty, pretty please.”

3.  Roll on by Alabama makes me think of my father.  My father was a truck driver and this song makes me think about him.  My father has been gone now for 18 years.  It is hard to believe that.  I miss him and think about how things would be different if he were still around.  He never got to be around his grandchildren and I wonder what kind of grandfather he would have been.  He never really knew us as adults and got to see his children succeed in their professions.  I miss him more than I realize. This is not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my favorite songs. However, these songs do mean something special to me. This is the music in me!

On Top of the Rock

When I reflect on the places that I’ve been and the things that I’ve seen, one place in particular gives me the most peace.  This place is not somewhere that costs money or requires fancy clothes by all means.  However, it is the feeling that I get when I’m there that makes me love this area.

This place is Rocky Falls in Missouri.

rocky falls

Rocky Falls is a protected National Park that is a small place that is probably unknown to many.  It certainly isn’t easy to get to, but I guarantee you that the travel time will be worth it.

It seems that when my life gets at it’s most troublesome times, I want to go visit Rocky Falls.  There is something about this majestic place that heals me.  The natural waterfall almost feels that it is able to wash my worries away with it.  One of my favorite things is to sit on top of the rock in an area that allows the water to flow around me.  When I sit on top of this rock, I feel closer to God than I do in most places.  I believe that beauty around me and the peace that calms my soul, cannot be anything other the hands of God.

Rocky Falls empties out into a great swimming hole that is enjoyed by many.  My children love this place, as well. It is a great place to have a family day of fun.  We usually visit when we go camping.  So, we pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a wonderful summer day.

The only disclaimer that I give is “Spring water is C-O-L-D.”

The Sunday Night Dread

This is the self titled disorder that happens to me every Sunday afternoon. It usually starts to hit about 2:00pm and the condition only worsens as the evening continues.

The Sunday Night Dread describes the feeling i get after a weekend of fun and relaxation. It is the last few moments of  freedom before the work week takes over.  Before going to bed tonight, I have set the alarm clock for 5:30am. Tomorrow, I’ll have to put on dress clothes again and my game face, too.

It isn’t that I don’t like my job. I love my job. I just don’t enjoying seeing 5:30am. That is entirely too early to be awake. I would love to be able to get up around 8:00am.

The work week is draining to me. It is physically draining and mentally draining.

I don’t believe that I’m the only person who suffers from the disorder of  The Sunday Night dread. I know there are people that understand my turmoil. Even though there are many who suffer, there is no cure.

However, we can look forward to Fabulous Friday!