She's Golden


It's her Golden Birthday.

Twenty years crammed full of living can be messy sometimes.

So sometimes it helps to keep a Brother under one arm and Another Brother under the other...

Other times it's not a Brother, but Your Mother, that you need...
Of course the one who's really got your back is your Big Sister.
You'll always be the Baby and she'll aways be your Big Sister.
It's awesome.

We know it's not easy bringing up the tail end of this bunch, but the good news is you've always had a village looking out for you and you always will.

On this Golden Day we celebrate you. And...well...

...the teenager you were salutes the adult you are becoming.
Happy Birthday Baby.

So glad you were born. So glad you are alive.

We love you.

And I love you BIG.

Forever. For always. No matter what.


Sunday Dinner With a Side of Pickles

Used to be that "Sunday Dinner" meant beef roast and mashed potatoes. Or perhaps Fire Alarm Chicken (inside family reference to a dish I cooked at high heat that always set off the smoke alarm), and home-baked goodies for dessert.

Those are all good and fine, but today I think I have discovered my all time favorite Sunday Dinner thanks to the Mr. Last and his magic ways with fresh ingredients we happened to have on hand:

  • Lime cilantro rice
  • Grilled chicken
  • Kabobs of zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and fresh pineapple
  • Grilled corn on the cob
  • Tomatoes & cucumber
After dinner, he even magicked up some rice bowls for tomorrow's lunch by adding black beans, sour cream, and cheese to the leftovers. Fresh, healthy, and delicious.

And while he was busy on his side of the kitchen, I was over on my side with these:
Gotta wait a couple days for them to stew in the juices before I can give you a verdict on the taste, but I made some Refrigerator Pickles using this recipe from Food-In-Jars blog.

They only keep in the refrigerator for a limited time, so it looks like the magic meals we invent in the next few weeks are likely to include a side of pickles.



Read this recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Author's website can be found here.

The time and place in which this story is set reminded me of a  story about my Grandpa Charlie growing up in Cottonwood, Texas.

According to family legend, Charlie stayed behind one day when everyone else went to town. He was 12 or 13 and thought he'd try out the new family automobile -- and this was way back in the early 1900's -- while no one was around to watch him (legend does not tell how the family traveled to town).

He was delighted to get the machine running, but the excitement soon faded when he could not figure out how to turn the dang thing off. So he circled round and round until it ran out of fuel and when the family returned Charlie had to explain why the car was parked under the big tree in the yard.

I also recently enjoyed Diane Keaton's memoir, Then Again.
She's an interesting woman and her memories are interwoven with excerpts from the many collages, scrapbooks, and journals her mother created. 

On a somewhat related note, I went to my very first Drawing Class this week at the local community college. The college is on the edge of town where not too long ago crops were growing. We noticed the raptors hunting out there during the fall, and now I know why. Cottontail bunnies by the gob lots were stretched out cooling themselves on the shady lawns when I arrived for my evening class. Some of them lippity-lipped into the shrubbery when I strolled down sidewalk toward the Art Lab. Others remained still and avoided eye contact. I imagine they eat the landscape and annoy the grounds crew, but I found it rather charming to have bunnies all over campus.

So. Drawing Class is really small. Myself and one other woman were the only students the first night, but the instructor was expecting three or four more who we think may have had difficulty locating the class. It is a community education class, not a college course for credit, so it feels easy and encouraging. For me it's external discipline to force me to spend a couple hours a week practicing so I can improve my basic skills. I'm not interested in a late life career as Oma the Artiste, just trying to spread my wings a little with an eye toward perhaps one day creating Oma's Illustrated Memoirs for the enjoyment (or annoyance) of the descendants.

Not because I have lived interesting experiences like Diane Keaton, or enjoyed the fictional family capers of Calpurnia Virginia Tate, but I do have a story or two in me.

We'll see what comes of it. If anything.


Oma's Favorite Mug

I know. I know.

Cuteness overload.

My GrandBoys have mugs to melt an Oma's heart.
I couldn't pick just one favorite.

They are each my favorite. 

It doesn't get much better than Fourth of July with Chuck & The Boys.